Advanced Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants

Dental implants are now considered the preferred method of tooth replacement. An implant is essentially an artificial tooth made by using hospital-grade titanium dental roots placed into the bone in the area of the missing tooth or teeth. Titanium is highly biocompatible and is used in joint replacement surgeries. In fact, the material actually encourages new bone formation to fuse directly with the titanium root making it even more secure than your natural teeth.

An implant can support a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, as well as permanent dentures. The abutment of the implant root is used to anchor single crowns, bridges, or an implant retained denture so that it securely stays in place at all times. Individual teeth can be placed on an implant root, or as few as four implants can support an entire denture.

Once you decide to have implant therapy, the implant is inserted into the jaw and given 3-6 months for new bone formation to develop. Many times an immediate temporary restoration can be placed on the same day. Once the implant is completely healed and integrated, the abutment is screwed to the implant. A permanent restoration is then cemented onto the abutment the same way a traditional crown is cemented into place.

Who makes an ideal dental implant candidate? To begin with, it’s important to have an adequate level of bone to support the implant. This can be evaluated through a panoramic radiograph, full-mouth series of x-ray films, cone beam CT scan, along with good clinical evaluation. If there is not enough bone, you may be referred to a specialist to have a bone graft placed. If a specialist has placed your implant, Dr. Neff will work alongside your implant specialist to provide an interdisciplinary approach. This is the best way to provide ideal care for more complex cases.