What are dental implants?
A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, your Oral Surgeon first replaces the root with a dental implant.
After placement of your dental implant, time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, we are able to use an in-office CT scan to accurately plan the placement of your implant. Using advanced computer software, we are able to virtually plan with the utmost precision the exact position of your dental implant.
Surgical Advances in Dental Implants
It is also possible to place single stage implants immediately after tooth removal-further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. The Oral Surgeon performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. Your dentist fits and makes the permanent prosthesis.