Whatever the cause of their loss, missing teeth are a problem.
Their absence makes eating certain foods difficult, speech may be slurred and unclear, and facial appearance may change if cheek and lip support is affected, creating significant cosmetic concerns.
Removable dentures and fixed bridges are reasonable alternatives for some, but to restore teeth to proper form and function, dental implants have become the option of choice. Advancements in the design of implants, surgical techniques for placement, and improved bone-grafting procedures add up to exceptional success statistics and happy patients.
Dental implants are made of titanium and shaped like a single natural tooth root. The implants are made in different lengths and widths. The surface of the implant is treated to closely resemble the natural bone surface. This extraordinary new surface is the most compatible for the healing of bone to the implant surface. After careful radiographic studies and treatment planning, our surgeon places the implant in the bone of the jaw. Healing times vary in each individual case, depending upon the quality and quantity of bone in the implant site. In some cases, bone grafting may be required which can extend the healing time. This healing period may take from two to six months, depending upon the location of the implant.
New Teeth at Last
After we have verified that the implants are sufficiently healed and fused to the surrounding bone, we can begin the steps required for the restoration to the tooth or teeth. First and extension (implant abutment) is made to fit permanently into the implant. Then a crown is made to reproduce the missing tooth as closely as possible in form, color, and function. This implant can serve as a single tooth replacement or when multiple implants are placed, can support a bridge or a denture.
Caring for dental implants is just as important as caring for your own natural teeth. Regular brushing and flossing are as important as ever. Special rinses may even be required. Scheduled maintenance is essential as well. The teeth and the implant supported crowns must be checked periodically. On rare occasions, an implant screw may need to be retightened or a crown recemented.
The Right Choice
Deciding whether implants are the best alternative for you requires professional guidance. Your medical and dental histories will need to be reviewed; the need for an i-Cone Beam CT scan and/or panographic dental radiograph will be evaluated; careful soft and hard tissue examinations will be required,; and other diagnostic tests taken along with diagnostic models of your mouth. The necessity for careful analysis of the available bone quality and quantity in addition to the occlusion of the teeth is a requirement for the success of the procedure.
For more information or consultation to see if this therapy is appropriate for you call Dr. Gerber at 310.652.0450.