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.
Having trouble? Please make sure you have version 7 of the Flash browser plugin in order to correctly view this presentation. This software is available as a free download.
Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that 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.
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth, which act and feel like normal teeth.
Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
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.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Drs. Galey, Kreps, Roccia and Tunder will uncover the implants and attach small posts that protrude through the gums and will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. 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, Drs. Galey, Kreps, Roccia and Tunder 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 artificial teeth are placed. 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 procedure is called immediate loading.
Implants are a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While Drs. Galey, Kreps, Roccia and Tunder perform the actual implant surgery, 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.
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 prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Drs. Galey, Kreps, Roccia and Tunder perform 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, tibia or bone morphogenic protein.
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve you 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.
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 over a period of time dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing. In history of tooth replacement or dentistry, there has never been a more stable and predictable treatment. At North Pittsburgh Oral Surgery, Drs. Galey, Kreps, Roccia and Tunder have a greater than 97% success rate of implant healing.
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
The majority of dental implants and bone grafts can be performed in the office under local anesthesia or with IV sedation. In especially extensive cases or medically compromised patients, implants may be placed in a hospital setting under general anesthesia
Once the implants are in place, they should 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.
"Immediate loading" is a concept providing patients with a fully esthetic tooth on a dental implant in one single day. This technology allows for collaboration between both the restorative doctor and the surgeon. This merging of knowledge and experience achieves not only increased safety, but also a more precise implant placement. In addition, the fabrication of a prosthesis is performed the very same day. Patients can often resume their normal activities the next day.
The surgeons of North Pittsburgh Oral Surgery are experts in utilizing computer aided tomography (CAT scans) as a means for treatment planning and surgical implementation of dental implants. Utilizing CAT scans allow Drs. Galey, Kreps, Roccia and Tunder to transfer extra oral planning into the mouth with unrivaled accuracy and ease.
Computer-guided implant surgery is preformed in an arthroscopic fashion. This technology allows for dental implant placement without requiring additional surgery to the gums. The patient is benefited by having less postoperative discomfort, less swelling and less bruising.
The process starts when a CAT scan is taken of the jawbone. This CAT scan allows for the generation of a three-dimensional model of the jawbone that can then be used in virtual reality to plan the implant placement without the presence of the patient. The results are more accurate implant placement, and less chair time for the patient at the surgery office.