Dental Implants

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are root replacements for missing teeth. They are made from surgical grade titanium alloy. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth. Implants can be used to replace the crown of a missing tooth or teeth, or they can be used to hold dentures in place.

How are they placed?

Implants are placed into the upper or lower jawbone. If there is not enough bone present to place an implant, various bone enhancing procedures can be performed prior to the implant placement. Most implants are placed in the office setting using only local anesthesia. The procedure usually takes about an hour. Discomfort afterwards is usually less than with having a tooth extracted.

When should they be placed?

The ideal time to place an implant is either immediately at the time of extraction or 3 months after tooth loss. Many people do not realize that the bone around teeth will be lost over time once a tooth is removed. Rapid bone loss after tooth extraction occurs during the first year of tooth loss and continues at a slower rate throughout life. The bone around teeth requires stimulation to be maintained.  Often, extra expenses and procedures, such as bone grafting, can be avoided if the implants are placed while you still have adequate bone. Implants provide the bone with the necessary stimulation required to prevent bone loss.

Why consider Implants?

  • Dental implants are the most successful and highly studied of all dental procedures done today.
  • Implants have very high success rates (up to 97% over 10 years).
  • The neighboring teeth are less likely to get cavities or require root canal treatment.
  • Easier to clean than traditional bridgework. 
  • Psychological advantage.
  • Decreased cold sensitivity of adjacent teeth. 
  • Decreased abutment tooth loss (Abutment teeth are the ones used to attach a bridge or partial denture).
  • Implants may be a more reliable and cost effective option for replacing a single tooth that would require extensive treatments such as root canal, post/core, crown, and crown lengthening surgery to save.

How can implants help with a denture?

  • Prevent bone loss
  • Maintains appearance and prevents collapse of face
  • Improves bite, chewing, speech 
  • Allows for smaller dentures and removal of plastic from roof of mouth
  • Dentures stay in place
  • Improves psychological health

For a more detailed look at the implant system used in our office please visit http://www.bicon.com/patient/index.html

Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.