Implants Dentures Phoenix - Are they right for you?
What is a dental implant?
There are three components to a dental implant. The first is a small titanium screw that is surgically placed into the jaw to replace the natural root of a tooth. The implant crown replaces the visible part of the tooth and is attached to the implant itself with something called an abutment.
What is the history of dental implants?
Modern dental implants have been around since the 1970's. Archeologists have discovered skulls with replaced teeth made out of materials such as jade or seashells. Even these most rudimentary attempts at implants had some level of success. Today, scientific discovery has shown that titanium screws allow the bone in the jaw to fuse to the screws, otherwise known as osseo-integration. The use of implants currently is both widespread and highly successful.
What can a dental implant do?
One dental implant can be used to replace a single missing tooth, several implants can replace several missing teeth instead of a bridge or partial denture and few strategically placed implants can increase patient comfort and the security of dentures. Another important point to note is that bone is lost in the jaw where teeth are lost. This phenomenon is responsible for that sunken look that people who have traditional dentures get in the lower half of their face after years without teeth. Because the implant mimics the root of a missing tooth, the body is fooled into acting as if there is no tooth loss. The implant actually prevents bone loss from occurring and keeps the jaw bone healthy.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
The answer to this is highly individual, but most likely yes! A CT scan of your jaw is imperative in answering this question and is something Dr. Holton relies on to ensure he is able to plan for a successful result that will thrill you in the end. A thorough oral examination is also necessary as any periodontal disease (gum disease) or decay will need to be addressed prior to beginning implant placement.
Is this treatment painful and is it expensive?
For most patients, the pain is far less than they anticipated. You will have local anesthetic to numb the area during surgery and will leave with a prescription for pain medicine although many patients are able to remain comfortable with only ibuprofen. In many cases, the cost is very close to the cost of a bridge which is the more dated approach to single tooth replacement.
How long is this process?
Implant success is greatly enhanced when the process is completed in stages. There are periods of healing that are necessary to allow for proper osseo-integration of the implant after surgery and there may be healing times necessary if bone grafting is part of the overall treatment plan. As a general rule of thumb, there is about a 3 month healing time needed after each surgery. Once all healing is completed and the implant is ready for a crown, that stage can take about one month.
What are the results?
With an experienced team of dental professionals, proper planning and healthy habits your dental implant can provide you with a beautiful and functional way to replace missing teeth. To see some of Dr. Holton's results, take a look at the implant tab located in our photo gallery and contact us to see if dental implants can improve your oral health.