Recent advances in dental technology have enabled dentists to offer their patients tooth replacements, which look, feel and function as normal teeth. The use of dental implants has become increasingly sophisticated and predictable over the past few years.
Dental implants can be used in a variety of ways to solve almost any problem related to tooth loss. Situations that previously required dental bridges, partial dentures or complete dentures can now be safely and predictably treated with permanent, non-removable implant supported replacement teeth.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are synthetic tooth root substitutes made from titanium. The success of dental implants is due to the ability of living bone to grow and attach to the titanium implants by a process called “osseointegration”. In order for osseointegration to occur, a very specific protocol must be followed during placement of the implant. The process of osseointegration was first discovered by Dr. P.I. Branemark, a Swedish Orthopedic Surgeon in the early 1970s. Since Dr. Branemark first discovered this process the placement of dental implants has evolved into a sophisticated, predictable and user-friendly procedure.
How are dental implants used?
Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or segments of missing teeth with implant supported bridges. If a person is missing all of their teeth in either the upper or lower jaw, the implants can be used to support a non-removable, permanent bridge replacing all of the missing teeth. Implants can also be used to stabilize a denture that does not fit well because of poor retention.
Are dental implants right for you?
Implants can be used to replace missing teeth for people of all ages and all stages of bone loss. People have unique oral conditions, different motivation and various expectations of the treatment result. For these reasons, not every person will elect to undergo treatment with dental implants. This can only be determined during a consultation visit with you and John K. Tidwell, DDS and Elizabeth A. Kutcipal, DDS. During this consultation you will learn more about the procedure and will be given every opportunity to ask questions and discuss possible treatment options.
Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implant surgery is performed in the office in a surgical suite that is specifically prepared for implant procedures. The type of anesthesia that is used depends on the complexity of the planned procedure and the anticipated length of time to complete the procedure.
Treatment with dental implants involves several steps. First, an incision is made in the gums and the jawbone is gently exposed. A site is prepared in a specific location with specially designed instruments. The implant is then placed into the prepared site and the gums are sutured closed. Most patients are able to resume normal activity and are able to return to work or school the following day.
The implants are then allowed to heal for two to six months. After healing is complete the top of the implant is exposed so that a post can be attached to the implant. After two additional weeks of healing the patient is referred back to the restoring dentist for fabrication and placement of the final dental restoration.
Patient Reviews: Dental Implants
This reviews section is in progress. Please visit the Patient Review form to leave a review about your Dental Implant experience with Ballard Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. Call our office if you would like more information: Seattle Office Phone Number 206-783-9672.