Dental Implants: A Better Way to Replace Teeth
Why are dental implants important?
Missing a tooth isn’t just bad for your looks; it can be bad for your health as well! Healthy teeth play an important role in the body from head to toe. When you are missing one, your jawbone deteriorates, your self-esteem suffers and so does your diet, which negatively affects the health of your entire body. Dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth and are widely recognized as the best replacement method.
The Miracle of Osseointegration (How Dental Implants Work)
Our bodies are truly amazing – their ability to coexist with a variety of native and foreign materials means that our treatment options, as oral surgeons, are constantly expanding. “Osseointegration” refers to the fusing of bone with an artificial material. Its origins date back to the 1940s and 50s, when Swedish physician Per-Ingvar Branemark discovered that titanium fuses so well with bone that it is nearly impossible to remove! Since then, the biocompatibility of titanium has proven itself to be amazingly reliable over and over again.
“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.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are made of titanium. A completed implant includes three pieces: the implant itself (a titanium screw that is placed in the jawbone), the abutment (a connector between the implant and crown) and the crown (the part that is visible and looks like a tooth). Dr. Biggerstaff or Dr. Parker will place the implant and the abutment, and the crown will be completed by your general dentist.
Time is of the Essence
You may be surprised to hear that your jawbone is a lot like a muscle, in that it must be stimulated regularly in order to maintain its volume. Therefore, when a tooth is extracted (or falls out naturally), the jawbone begins to deteriorate almost immediately. In fact, studies show that within a year of tooth loss, there is a 25% decrease in bone width. Thankfully, dental implants can take the place of natural teeth to provide the stimulus needed by the jaw. If done early, this greatly reduces the need for bone grafting down the road.
2. Tooth Loss
3. Healed Bone
4. Implant Placed
6. Implant Restored
How much do dental implants cost?
While the upfront cost is often more than that of alternatives such as bridges and dentures, dental implants outlast those approaches by several decades. This increased longevity makes implants the more affordable choice in the long run. For further information, visit our dental implants cost page.
Dental Implants: The Process
- Consultation and Treatment Plan: During the initial phase of the dental implant process, imaging is gathered along with your medical and dental histories to give us a clear picture of your current health. We will then explore your treatment options with you to formulate a plan that ensures that both your health goals and budgetary needs are met.
- Extraction: The next step is to have the tooth in question extracted. In some cases, we may be able to place the implant at the same time of extraction. In others, bone grafting will be required prior to implant placement (see next step).
- Bone Grafting: It is fairly common for the jawbone to lack the mass needed to accept an implant. In this case, a bone graft will be performed first to strengthen the target area. Bone grafting is typically followed by several months of healing before the implant can be placed.
- Dental Implant Surgery: During the implant procedure itself, a titanium screw is inserted into your jawbone. You will be anesthetized for comfort during the surgery, which takes about 1-2 hours.
- Osseointegration: After placing the implant, we cover it with the surrounding soft tissue and let it sit for 3 months in order to fuse with the bone.
- Final Restoration: After osseointegration is complete, an abutment is placed on the implant to connect with the final crown restoration. Typically, the final restoration is done by a general dentist.
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.
For more information, please visit our dental implant FAQs page.
At Advanced Oral & Facial Surgery of the Triad, we are proud to offer a safe, comfortable and affordable dental implant experience to our patients with the help of cutting-edge technology and utilization of the latest techniques. Call us at Kernersville Office Phone Number 336-992-2123 to get started on your journey – we are here with the support, guidance, and expertise you deserve.
Why Dental Implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.
Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.
Can you tell which tooth is the implant?
Advanced Oral & Facial Surgery of the Triad
Our Latest Patient Testimonial
I had a procedure that included an extraction, a bone graft and an implant. Dr. Biggerstaff first conducted a thorough examination and clearly explained all of the steps in the process. She and her assistant then performed the entire procedure in less than an hour with high levels of skill and professionalism. I experienced very little discomfort during or after the procedure. The office was well organized and the staff was courteous and efficient. I highly recommend Dr. Biggerstaff and her office for oral surgery services.
- Victor B
Our Latest Patient Testimonial
Dr. Parker and his staff were courteous and professional during my recent procedure. He carefully explained each step needed to insure positive results answering all of my questions. The office was clean an inviting with the latest technology. After returning home, Dr. Parker called to check on my progress and assured me that he was available if the need arose. I would recommend Dr. Parker and his staff for anyone needing implants and accompanying oral surgery.
- Mark B
Our Latest Patient Testimonial
2 years and 6 implants later, I feel like a new man. The pleasure of being able to once again bite into a good steak and savor the wonderful taste is indescribable. The professionalism and courtesy shown by Dr. Biggerstaff and her associates during this process has been second to none. I highly recommend this office for any oral procedures that one might be considering in the near future.
- JASON S