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About Dental Implants
December 11, 2012
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Many people want information about dental implants, so here it is.  Reply to this blog message if there are any further questions.  Dental implant is becoming the new standard of care in replacing missing teeth.  Historically, when a tooth is missing, a denture is made to replace the tooth.  The denture can be fixed or removable.   A fixed denture is also known as a bridge.  In order to make a bridge, a dentist must grind down the adjacent teeth on either side of the missing teeth so that a new prosthetic tooth can go over it.  Grinding down a tooth for the sake of replacing one is not considered healthy dentistry.  The beauty of dental implant is the ability to replace a missing tooth without affecting otherwise healthy teeth.  

Dental implants are made of titanium metal, the same material used in other prosthetic replacements in the human body such as hip or knee repairs and replacements.  Titanium has a good track record in combining with the body as if it is a part of it.  This part of the dental implant is called the fixture.  The fixture is surgically embedded in the jaw bone.  After about 4 months of healing, the second part, or the abutment, is installed.  The abutment part of the implant sticks out of the gums and is attached to the fixture by a screw.  Soon thereafter, a crown can be made and fitted onto the abutment.  

Not all missing teeth qualify for dental implant.  If a tooth has been lost for a long time, the bone in the area tends to shrink and sometimes necessitate a bone grafting procedure.  Bone graft is also done to preserve a extraction area for future implant placement, again to prevent shrinking of bone.  The dentist needs to do proper treatment planning including taking history, x-rays and study models. 

Does it hurt?  That is a common concern with dental implant candidates.  In most instances, putting a tooth in (dental implant) is less traumatic than taking a tooth out and therefore is less painful.  It is done under local anesthesia with Novocain. 

The success rate of implants is high, in the 85-95 percentile success rate.  Post operative care and general health of an individual including current medical conditions affects the percentage.   

Thinking about or need dental implants to replace missing teeth?  Contact us today for an appointment - 561-623-9935.  Or request an appointment online -