Implants & Oral Reconstruction

Dental Implants

What They Are And How They Work

Dental implants are used to anchor a single tooth, several teeth, or a denture.
The typical dental implant for the replacement of a single tooth consists of three separate pieces, each fulfilling a unique role in the process.  The actual implant is usually a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jawbone.  Over the next two to six months, the implant will safely fuse with the jawbone to form a secure, immovable base upon which the two other components, the abutment and the prosthesis or crown will be placed.  The abutment attaches to the portion of the implant that sits above the gumline, it forms a platform for the crown, which is carefully molded and positioned on the abutment by a restorative dentist or a prosthodontist.
In general, the crown is not added until the implant and jawbone have fused.  There are some cases, however, particularly in situations where there is an aesthetic concern, when a temporary crown may be placed on the abutment at the time of surgery.  
If you are replacing several teeth, or anchoring a prosthesis (denture) we may place two or more implants to securely anchor the fixed or removable prosthesis.   These prostheses anchor to the implants to form a stable, immovable bone that allows the patient to speak clearly, eat heartily and smile freely- just as if he or she had natural teeth.


Who Needs Dental Implants?

 Dental implants can improve the quality of life for almost everyone who is missing one or more teeth.  People of all ages can benefit from dental implants.  
Although smoking lowers the success rate of implants, it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of having implants placed.
Bone loss is not uncommon for people who have lost teeth or had periodontal disease.  Grafting bone to enhance the site and allow an implant to be placed may be necessary in some cases.