What are Dental Implants?
Serving patients in Wentzville, st. Louis, & st. peters
Dental implants are changing the way people live! They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved.
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are inserted into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Dental implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
What is the difference between an implant and a bridge?
A Dental implant is used to replace one missing tooth. It is placed in the site of the tooth that is missing and feels and behaves just like a normal tooth. It is a one to one replacement of the tooth. A bridge is used to span the gap of the missing tooth. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared by removing sufficient tooth structure to place a prosthetic tooth on each adjacent tooth and a false tooth in between that will bridge the gap. It is a three to one replacement, meaning that three sites are being used to restore the missing tooth.
What is involved with dental implant surgery?
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your dentist is forming new replacement teeth.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. The doctors will uncover the implants and attach small posts, which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. These posts are just above the gum level. When the artificial teeth are placed these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
what is recovery like after implant surgery?
The large majority of patients report that the implant surgery itself is much easier than even having the tooth extracted. The recovery is also usually easier as well. There is minimal discomfort and patients usually return to their routine within a few days.
What are Immediate Implants?
With newer technology and with the coordination of your restorative dentist, implants can sometimes be placed at the time of extraction in a single procedure. A consultation with your Dentist and Oral & Maxillo-Facial Surgeon is necessary to see if you are a candidate for Immediate Dental Implant Placement.
Dental Implant Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
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David M Ivey DDS
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