Dental implants are implants that simulate the form and function of natural teeth or help anchor and secure loose dentures. Dental implants also help prevent bone deterioration, which is common when a tooth has been removed. Most people are candidates for implants and patients of all ages can benefit from this modern technology. A thorough consultation and evaluation will be needed to assess your individual case. Drs. Chewning and McDonald work closely with your restorative dentist to decide the best treatment for you.
The implants are small titanium posts surgically placed in the jaw. They may be buried below the gum or be visible at the gum line depending on your particular case and needs. Most patients feel little if any pain either during the surgery or during the healing period. Many patients do not even need the pain medication that may be prescribed.
In most cases, temporary dentures can still be worn immediately following surgery.
After the initial surgery, a healing period is required to allow the bone to attach to the implant. This makes the implant an integral part of the jawbone and holds the implant securely in place. This healing period lasts for a few months. You will be seen several times during the healing phase to insure everything is going as planned. You will also be given instruction in cleaning and caring for the implant while it heals. Sometimes a second minor surgery is required to uncover the implant if it had to be buried below the gum tissue.
After the bone in the jaw has taken a firm hold to the post, it is ready to be restored. An abutment (anchor post) is placed in the implant that allows the restorative dentist to fabricate your new teeth. This is not a surgical procedure and does not usually require any local anesthesia.