What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root. They are made of Titanium, and when carefully placed into the jaw, they heal to the bone. Once healed, the restorative dentist can place crowns or bridges on the implants, which will feel and function like a natural tooth or teeth. Implants can also be used to help dentures become more stable and stay in place.
When are dental implants indicated?
Dental implants can be used to replace virtually any lost tooth and will spare the adjacent teeth the reduction (or grinding down) needed to fabricate a fixed bridge. Since there are other methods of replacing teeth, your general dentist is the first person you should ask if you are a candidate for dental implants.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
What are the disadvantages of dental implants?
- feel like natural teeth
- spare the adjacent teeth of reduction for a fixed bridge
- help maintain bone
- can be cleaned like a natural tooth, no special bridge threaders for floss needed
- food won't get caught, unlike a fixed bridge replacement tooth
- time: healing time required can be 2-6 months
- involves a surgical procedure to place the implant(s) into bone
- cost: while the total cost of replacing a single tooth with a dental implant and crown is comparable to a fixed bridge, most dental benefit plans were written before implants were a routine procedure and are not a covered benefit (the crown portion is usually a covered benefit by dental insurance).
How successful are dental implants?
Published reports quote success rates in the 95+% range or better. The patients general health, periodontal health, smoking and amount of available bone are all factors that can affect dental implant success.
How long do dental implants last?
Once successfully healed and integrated into the bone, implants can last the life of the patient. They must, however, be maintained just like natural teeth with good home care and regular professional maintenance.
How are dental implants placed?
Once you are confirmed to be a candidate and the treatment plan has been finalized with the help of your general dentist, dental implants are placed as a routine office procedure. Local (dental) anesthetic is all that is needed to keep you comfortable and anti-anxiety measures are available as well. Patients are usually back to their normal routine the very next day.
How can I find out if I am a candidate for dental implants?
You can either ask your general dentist or call our office directly for an appointment.
American Academy of Periodontology
American Dental Association
Michigan Dental Association
International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI)