Dental implants have revolutionized the way dentists approach tooth replacement and are considered the treatment option of choice in most cases of tooth loss. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that 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.
Loss of teeth has traditionally lead to more tooth loss, increased bone loss, difficulty with eating, pain, and an overall decline in quality of life. For patients who are looking for a long-term tooth replacement option, dental implants are simply the best choice for durability, aesthetics, and function. Dental implants give you the opportunity to grab back your life. Why wait and watch your oral health and function slip away?
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The titanium implant becomes solidly attached to the bone through the healing process, called osseointegration. Once in place, it preserves the jawbone and gums in the area around it, thus providing a durable support base for artificial replacement teeth.
Dental implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing. Another benefit is that it does this with fewer bacterial infections than a natural tooth. It gets no decay, which means that when properly cared for, a dental implant can last a lifetime.
Dental implant treatment planning is very different than normal dental therapy. It requires more diagnostic information, a carefully planned course of action, and a treatment plan spelled out in advance to help ensure a successful outcome. Dr. Seaman and Dr.Wiley, are board-certified Prosthodontists, and have specialized training to take you through the diagnostic process. This process includes a comprehensive clinical exam, pictures, radiographs, study casts, bite studies, and a diagnostic wax-up of the proposed treatment. Dr. Seaman will then collaborate with the Periodontist or Oral Surgeon who will be placing the implant, regarding the ideal placement given the patient’s existing biomechanical oral relationships. After the implant is placed, Dr. Seaman works with our highly trained dental laboratory technicians/ceramists. Our technicians fabricate custom restorations with multiple porcelain systems to create the desired functional and aesthetic result.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone by a Periodontist or Oral Surgeon. Healing time following surgery varies from person to person and is based on a variety of factors, such as hardness of bone. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed.
For the first three to six months following the surgery, dental 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 at this time. During this time, Dr. Seaman designs the final bridgework or denture that will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. The surgeon will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. After two weeks Dr. Seaman will be able to start making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The teeth replacements are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.