If you are missing one or more teeth, or have the prospect of losing a tooth to trauma, injury or disease - dental implants are the ultimate solution.
What makes me a candidate for an implant?
Anyone who has already lost a tooth or stands to lose one is a perfect candidate for an implant. When a tooth is removed, the immediate result is tooth movement. Natural teeth are designed to work together as a team; the upper and lower teeth fit together to crush or rip food apart. Remove either the top or the bottom of the pair, and the remaining tooth will begin to drift, looking for a tooth surface to work against. This is exactly why we recommend an implant when the unavoidable outcome of your treatment is tooth extraction. Remove any tooth, and you will have a change in the look of your smile.
How do Implants work?
It's pretty simple. We first determine the ideal place to situate the implant body. That might be impacted by how long it has been since the missing tooth was extracted, or other factors. We also generally ask for a 3-D X-Ray so we're sure the space has enough bone to fully support a healed implant.
Next, we place the implant. It's a screw-like device made from titanium, so your body accepts it and heals around it. Once healed, the implant is as strong as any healthy tooth root; full integration usually takes around 6 months.
Last, we restore the top of the implant. We add a header to the top of the screw (called an abutment) and place a crown on top of it. The crown is a strong and long-lasting as a natural tooth, and an be flossed in the same way.
What About Implant Supported Dentures?
We also advocate for implant support for both full and partial dentures. In the past, dentures got a reputation as being ill-fitting or ineffective, and that is certainly a concern of patients. Placing several small implants in the jaw (upper, lower or both) creates a "snap"-like solution so that prosthetics don't slip or wobble. If you've already experienced the loss of some foods from your diet as a direct result of tooth extraction, please ask us about the life-changing effect of implants. You could literally eat anything again, with the addition of implants to your treatment.
Are Implants Expensive?
As with most dental treatment, costs are relative. Expect to budget for the original extraction and supporting X-Rays, the implant, abutment and crown. Potential other costs might include a spot bone graft if a lot of time has elapsed since extraction; we'll need to strengthen the area after bone levels have receded. What's most important is that the implant is 100% viable after placement, and that you can add things back into your diet like steak, corn on the cob, stone fruits, or other hard-to-eat foods. Since implants are made to last the remainder of your life, we think the costs are reasonable. After all, you do eat three meals a day! You use your teeth more than your car, home theatre equipment, and many other things people tend to spluge on.
Why Choose Us for Your Implant?
We have an incredible resource in our office for implant placement, in our Board Certified oral surgeon. He comes in once a month to care for our patients, including placing implants and extracting third molars, among other procedures. Having a surgeon of exceptional quality is
extremely important to us, and we are committed to having that level of care available to our patient family. We follow up the placement appointment by restoring your implant in-house, meaning we top your implant with a high-quality, beautiful crown or bridge. Our implant patients have amazing outcomes and go on to add quality foods back into their diets and - most importantly - to smile with confidence. We'd love to help you to do the same. Please call us today for your implant consultation!