Dental Implants

Dental Implants 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.

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. The small dental implant replaces the tooth root.

You will see Dr. Scurria, Dr. Marquez, Dr. Presnell or Dr. McIlwain as a first step to design your care. In some cases, dental implant placement may be a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and our prosthodontists. The oral surgeon performs the initial tooth extractions, bone grafting if necessary, and the actual implant surgery.  Often, a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. In those situations, Dr. Scurria or Dr. Marquez fits and makes the temporary crown to be used during the healing process.

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.  We then place a support post (abutment) on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) on top of the abutment.

If multiple teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.

Older man smiling

“Don’t be afraid to Smile.”

For years I’d felt like a part of my body was missing — because my teeth were. My dentist told me that dental implants would make me feel and look a lot better. OK, I said. Now, I’m thrilled. I can smile, eat anything, and enjoy a good laugh with my friends.

Surgical Advances

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon may be able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.