Dental implants are a very efficient way of replacing a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. Implants can also be used to stabilize full or partial removable dentures. The advantage of implants over fixed bridges is that there is no preparation of supporting teeth. Implants look, feel and function like natural teeth. The implant process from start to finish takes about 6 months. The implant process starts with an evaluation to determine if you have enough underlying bone to support an implant. The lower jaw in most cases has enough bone, but the upper jaw molar area has sinuses that have to be evaluated. In some cases a bone graft may be needed before an implant can be placed in the sinus areas.
Once the bone has been evaluated, placement of the implant is completed by an oral surgeon. The area is then covered by gum tissue and left to heal for 4-6 months. At the end of that period, the oral surgeon will uncover the implant and place a healing cap.
The patient then returns to our office where we will take impressions and fabricate whatever type of tooth or teeth you need to have a bright smile again.