Since its development over 25 years ago, dental implants have revolutionized dentistry. Now, patients have a long-term solution to missing teeth that closely mimics nature’s design. By replacing the missing tooth root, as well as the tooth crown (portion above the gum line), a dental implant provides unrivaled support, comfort and longevity.
Comprised of two parts, the titanium implant and tooth replacement, dental implants require phased treatment. In the first phase, the titanium portion of the implant is carefully inserted into the jawbone. A process called osseointegration, in which the bone fuses to the implant, takes place over a short period of time, usually about three months. In the second phase, the doctor secures a custom-designed tooth replacement. An implant can secure a crown, bridge or partial.
While upper dentures typically remain stable, lower dentures can click and slip at the most inconvenient times. With dental implants, your dentist can stabilize your lower denture, improving comfort, speech, eating, and confidence. Dental implants also stimulate the jawbone and help prevent the bone deterioration that accompanies missing teeth.
Benefits of dental implants:
- Permanent – Because they are integrated with the bone tissue, dental implants last most people a lifetime.
- Comfortable – Dental implants are designed to function and feel like natural teeth. You may even forget which tooth you lost.
- Functional – Unlike bridges, dental implants don’t require the reduction of healthy tooth structure. More of your natural teeth are left intact, which improves your chances of long-term oral health.
- Reliable – In general, implants have a success rate of over 95%.
- Convenient – No messy adhesives and the inconvenience of removable prosthetics.
When teeth are so heavily decayed or affected by periodontal disease, they are often not restorable. In such cases, extraction may be the only option. We perform most extractions in our office.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Wisdom teeth, both impacted and erupted, can cause a variety of problems if they are not removed. A panoramic x-ray image is the best way to evaluate and identify if wisdom teeth are present.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted – but some do. Over 90% of the population does not have adequate room for their wisdom teeth to erupt. This leads to several problems including: pain, infection, damage to the adjacent second molars, cysts and tumor formation, which requires more complicated and extensive procedures for removal and reconstruction. Wisdom teeth are non-functional teeth. The earlier they are removed, the less likely the patient will experience any of the previously mentioned problems.
When there isn’t enough tooth structure present to place a proper crown, the doctors may suggest a crown lengthening procedure. This is a minor surgical procedure that can sometimes mean the difference between losing a tooth or being able to place a crown on it. It is recommended on a case by case basis.
Bone grafts are used when the jawbone associated with tooth loss atrophies or is reabsorbed. This may be necessary before the placement of dental implants or to restore aesthetic appearance for our patients
When a muscle that connects the lip to the upper or lower jaw attached to the bone and gum tissue, it may pull over time and cause spaces between teeth, root exposure or recession. We use our Biolase to relieve that muscle pull via an in-office procedure called a frenectomy. Because of the use of a laser, healing time is significantly decreased compared to traditional methods.