Dental Implants

 

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. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.


Dental Implant Illustration
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.  A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.

Surgical Advances in Dental Implants

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Marshall and Dr. Marshall are 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.

Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist.  Drs. Marshall or Marshall performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary.  The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.

“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.


Dental Implants FAQ

How much do dental implants cost?

Dental implant cost varies depending on each patient’s individual situation and the plan developed to restore their missing tooth or teeth. A comprehensive evaluation and a discussion with the patient about their goals is the first step to determine the plan that fits you best.

Is dental implant surgery painful?

Dental implant surgery is completed with the area completely numb so patients do not feel any pain during the procedure. We also offer sedation for patients who have anxiety about any aspect of the procedure.

What are the most common complications after dental implant surgery?

After implant placement, mild discomfort can be expected and over the counter pain medication has shown to give relief to most patients. We prescribe antibiotics to take after the procedure to prevent risk of infection. Implants have a small risk of failure, which can be caused by infection or by early biting forces on the implant. Smokers are at increased risk of implant failure and complications, so smoking cessation is strongly recommended prior to dental implant placement.

What can I eat after dental implant surgery?

Most patients will be able to eat immediately after having a dental implant placed. We recommend starting with a soft diet, or anything that you can push a fork through. After that, patients are able to advance their diet back to normal based on how they feel.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants can last a lifetime if well maintained with good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.

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