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 they can smile with confidence.
What are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts, which are inserted into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental Implant 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.
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For more informational videos on dental implants, click on the image below.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your dentist is forming new replacement teeth.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Bohannan will uncover the implants and attach small posts, which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. These posts protrude through the gums. When the artificial teeth are placed these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Bohannan 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 placing artificial teeth on them. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction further minimizing the number of surgical procedures. Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible in select cases, to extract teeth, and place implants with crowns at one visit. This process, called immediate loading greatly simplifies the surgical process.
Dental Implant Overview
For a brief narrated overview of the dental implant process, please click the image on the right. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about dental implants.
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Who actually performs the implant placement?
Implants are a team effort between an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and a Restorative Dentist. While Dr. Bohannan performs the actual implant surgery, and 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.
What types of prostheses are available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed one is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Dr. Bohannan performs in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia.
Why dental implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve you life. When you lose several teeth whether its 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.
A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, developed this concept for oral rehabilitation more than thirty-five years ago. With his pioneering research, Dr. Branemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.
Why would you select dental implants over more traditional types of restorations?
There are several reasons: Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a partial at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
Are you a candidate for implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If you mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
What type of anesthesia is used?
The majority of dental implants and one graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without general anesthesia.
Do Implants need special care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.
In some cases, to better diagnose and develop the proper treatment plan, you will be asked to have a conebeam computed tomography radiograph. This is a fancy term for a 3 dimensional x-ray. During the radiography (x-ray session), you may be asked to wear a small mouthpiece that will give an image in the x-ray the desired tooth/teeth position. This is made prior to making your x-ray appointment by taking standard impressions of your mouth. After confirming the fit of the mouthpiece, you will be given a requisition slip with the address, directions and request for your x-ray. Once the x-rays are taken, the images are rendered for manipulation on a computer where your jaws can be seen in 3 dimensions. The images also show important anatomical structures and angles and distances can be measured accurately. Moreover the entire case can be planned out ahead of time in a virtual world and problems that might not have been seen until the time of surgery can normally be avoided. The information gathered from the scans is truly remarkable and the ability to plan the cases out ahead of time and be able to avoid pitfalls is cutting edge technology. Dr. Bohannan has been involved with this software (Simplant) since 1996. For more information on this technology please visit http://www.materialise.com/materialise/view/en/131410-SimPlant+software.html.
Additionally, if there is little room for error, a stereolithographic model can be made from your x-rays and a custom surgical guide is then created. This surgical guide removes any guessing of placement and angulation of your implant(s) and can be used additionally to miss vital structures. The special guide is made by Materialise and it is called the SurgiGuide. To find out more information regarding Surgiguide's features, you can go here: http://www.materialise.com/materialise/view/en/554529-SurgiGuide.html.
To better ensure accuracy, the Safe System can be used along with the SurgiGuide to stop any drilling at exactly the correct depth. Please see the following link for more information: http://www.materialise.com/materialise/view/en/131414-SAFE+SurgiGuide.html.
Dr. Bohannan only uses the top rated implant systems with long track records of success. Dr. Bohannan has carefully selected his implant systems based on proven clinical trials and peer reviewed evidenced based research. There are many "cheaper", "generic", "knock-off" brands available, but they typically have no product support and little if any clinical trials to assess their success rate. Rather than experimenting with unproven systems, Dr. Bohannan only uses the state of the art implant systems with years of clinical research, leaders in the market and proven outcomes data. Your implant will be selected based on your clinical situation and desired prosthetic outcome.
The systems used by Dr. Bohannan: