Replacing a Missing Tooth
A natural tooth is anchored into the jawbone by its tooth root. Tooth roots attach firmly to the jawbone and keep your teeth stable when chewing foods.
Traditionally, if you were missing a tooth or if one needed to be extracted, the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth would be cut down and the whole thing replaced with a three-crown “bridge”.
Dental implants are the modern alternative. Instead of cutting down two perfectly healthy teeth, your periodontist inserts a dental post (dental implant) into the jawbone to replace your missing tooth root. This post becomes solidly fixed into your jaw as the bone heals (like a natural tooth root). Your general dentist then places a crown onto this artificial tooth root that feels and functions like your natural teeth.
Quite simply, dental implants are the most natural replacement for missing teeth.
Replacing Several Missing Teeth
|Dental Implant Supported Dentures are firmly anchored to the jawbone. This helps to prevent bone loss and causes them to feel much more like natural teeth.|
Traditionally, several missing teeth would have been replaced with a removable partial, full denture or full bridge.
Dentures have to be taken out and soaked at night. They can also look unnatural and rub painfully. Dentures and partials make it difficult
or impossible to eat certain foods.
Dental implants can now be used to anchor
partial and full dentures. This prevents the slipping, irritation, and pain associated with “floating” partials and dentures. It also prevents the tedious removal of dentures for overnight soaking and cleaning. Dental implants also eliminate the need for dental adhesives. This allows you to enjoy eating the foods you previously avoided . With dental implants, your partials or dentures are firmly anchored to the jawbone, causing them to feel much more like natural teeth.
Natural tooth roots and dental implants are fixed firmly in your jawbone. When you chew, these tooth roots and posts stimulate the jawbone and prevent it from shrinking. You may have seen a person who looked prematurely old because their jawbone had shrunk after wearing floating dentures. Dental implants help preserve your jawbone and appearance.
Ridge Preservation for Implants
After a tooth is extracted, it is important that we manage the extraction sockets to prevent unsightly bone loss and ensure that we have enough bone for implant placement. Drs. Darby and Johnson have years of experience in extracting teeth with minimal trauma to the surrounding bone.
Advanced Technologies Ensure Accurate Alignment and Maximized Safety in Implant Placement
A key to dental implant safety and success is advanced radiography. Cone beam digital CAT scanning allows us to take 3-Dimensional, high resolution CAT scans of your facial anatomy. We can then view these images from different angles, take precise measurements, and easily share 3-D data with other doctors. A CAT scan ensures that every possible precaution has been made to reduce the risk of involvement of the nerves in the lower jaw, and the sinuses and nose in the upper jaw.
SimPlant - Computer-Guided Implant Placement
Correct implant placement maximizes safety, longevity and the cosmetic end result. Precision implant placement begins with a CAT scan that must be extensively analyzed.
SimPlant is a computer system that automatically analyzes CAT scan information and provides exact placement perimeters for optimum results. This advanced system gives immediate guidance as to the exact size of implant needed and the ideal placement location. Accurate case planning can then be done in coordination with your restorative dentist.
Additionally, the SimPlant analysis can be immediately sent to our dental lab who will use it to manufacture a surgical guide. Implant placement becomes completely computer-guided, eliminating any possible
The Success Rate of Dental Implants
After their healing period, the success rate of dental implants is between 94% and 98%. If you are a non-smoker with good oral hygiene, the percentage is closer to 98%.
How Long Will Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants become fixed to the jawbone. Though the life span of a dental implant will vary with each patient, many have lasted for over 30 years. With good oral hygiene and regular cleanings, dental implants can last a lifetime. In contrast, the average life span of a traditional fixed bridge is between 10-15 years.
A critical question in determining whether an implant can be placed is, “Is there enough bone to support the implant?” Fortunately, advanced bone regeneration techniques now make it possible to place many more implants than just 10 years ago.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implant treatment begins with an evaluation by your general dentist who will determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure. If he feels dental implants might be possible, he will send you to us for a placement evaluation.
For More Information
The following sites will provide you with more information on dental implants:
- American Academy of Periodontology
- Academy of Osseointegration
- The American Dental Association
- American Academy of Periodontology Article:
Dental Implants: Teeth That Look and Feel Like Your Own