Dental implants have enhanced the quality of life for thousands of people throughout the world with replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. Implant treatment can improve overall health and well being while restoring the confidence that comes from a natural smile.
Dental implants are substitute tooth roots that provide virtually the same function as natural tooth roots, stimulating bone growth and preserving the bone that previously surrounded the missing teeth. By preventing the deterioration of the jawbone that occurs when teeth are missing, dental implants maintain the integrity of facial structures.

Benefits of tooth replacement with dental implants

Preserve the health of adjacent teeth by eliminating the need to cut them down for bridgework, or hooking a partial denture onto them.
Maintain the integrity of facial structures by preventing the ongoing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
Increase comfort by eliminating loose-fitting dentures and partials.
Restore the mouth to a more natural state and create better long-term esthetics by replacing the entire missing tooth.
Improve health by restoring the ability to chew all types of food comfortably.

The Phases of Treatment
Phase 1: Implant Placement
Once the appropriate treatment plan has been determined, the implants are placed by an oral surgeon or periodontist. Depending on your needs and the doctor's recommendation for your comfort, the procedure can be performed under local anesthetic, a light sedation, or general anesthesia.
For the implants to bond properly to the bone, they must remain undisturbed for a period of several weeks to several months. During this time, the bone will remodel around the implants and attach directly to them. Depending on the specific implant system used, the doctor may attach a small cap to the implant that can be seen through the gum tissues while the bone is bonding to the implant.

Your dentist can either adjust your existing denture or bridge, or create temporary replacement teeth for you to wear during the bone remodeling period. You will not have to go without your teeth.In some cases, a provisional crown (temporary replacement crown) can be placed immediately.

Phase 2: Abutement Attachement

After the implant has bonded to the bone, a connection post (abutment) will be placed so that your dentist can fabricate your new replacement tooth. If a cap was placed on the implant after surgery, the cap is simply unscrewed and the abutment is placed.

If the implant was covered by gum tissue, the implant must be uncovered to attach a temporary cap. The gum tissue is allowed to heal for one to two weeks. At this time, impressions are taken of your teeth, implants and abutments, so that your replacement teeth can be fabricated from an exact replica of your mouth. If you are wearing temporary replacement teeth, your dentist or one of the surgeons will be able to modify them so that they can be worn until the final replacement teeth are fabricated.

Phase 3: Restoration
In the third phase of treatment, your dentist creates and fits the replacement teeth to the abutments. Your new teeth are designed after careful assessment of both the functional and cosmetic requirements. This process involves making impressions of your mouth, then adjusting the teeth durig the fabrication process until the replacement teeth are the proper size, shape, color and fit.

Immediate Implants
In certain situations, our surgeons may recommend a special type of implant that is placed immediately following the extraction of a tooth. With this type of implant, the replacement tooth and the implant can actually be placed at the same time so there is no waiting for your replacement tooth. There are a number of advantages to this approach particularly when replacing front teeth where esthetics is a major consideration.

Bone Grafting Techniques
In areas where teeth have been missing for many years, there may not be adequate bone available to anchor dental implants. Fortunately, grafting techniques have been perfected which can replace this missing bone and provide the support for facial structures (internal facelift) and implants. Dental implant placement then preserves this bone so that it will not melt away again.