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An implant is a man-made replacement for natural teeth which allows the person to return to fixed teeth. It is not a transplant, which is taken from another person. There are several categories of dental implants, which will be selected by the doctor depending on your specific needs and general dental condition. You would require an x-ray to evaluate the amount of bone remaining, models of your mouth to determine space available and a thorough examination to decide which type of implant can help you the most.

Q: Why Implants?
Since dental implants are relatively expensive and other option of crowns and bridges exist, we have to understand the advantages it offers over the conventional crown and bridge treatment. Dental implants are self supported structures; therefore the reduction of neighboring teeth for support is not required. Other benefits include improved appearance and self-esteem as well the enhanced ability to chew and enjoy your food, coupled with protection of your remaining teeth and jawbone.

Q: What to do in cases where bone volume does not support implants?
The success of a dental implant primarily depends on it's ability to bear chewing forces which in turn is very much dependent upon how much bone is available in the site where the implant is placed. There are lots of things that affect the bone volume like gum diseases, trauma and age and it is not unusual to open up a site in the mouth for implant placement and find out that some of the critical supporting bone is missing. No problem.... Modern dentistry has gifted us new techniques to augment missing bone. We can increase both the height and width of bone by using bone substitutes called as Bone grafts. We can even use grafting techniques to prevent the loss of bone in circumstances where bone would normally be lost like the extraction of a tooth.

Q: Tooth in an Hour?
In certain cases a temporary prosthesis (acrylic tooth crown) is placed over the implant that stays in place for the healing phase (Immediate loading Implants) . This forms the basis of "Tooth in an Hour" concept that is widely being used by dentists the world over. Once the implant fuses with the bone, the temporary crown is replaced by the permanent crown.

The procedure can involve a significant investment and fees can be determined after records and an examination is completed. A survey of 350 patients, after completion of their work, indicated that it was, not only worth the investment, but they would do it again.

Just as with any surgery, there can be some discomfort; however, anesthetic and patient sedation are used to eliminate any discomfort at the time of the procedure. Approximately 95 percent of patients report discomfort of 0-2 on a scale of 0-10 the day after the implants are placed. The doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur. Special care will be taken to stay in contact with you after the surgery to be sure that you remain comfortable.

To complete treatment can take from 4 to 9 months and in some cases, longer. It should be understood that this procedure is advanced and can be a longer process than usual to assure it's success. We do, however, provide patients with temporary teeth during this time frame. AT NO TIME are you without teeth unless you elect to do so.

The body does not reject a dental implant, as it might a soft tissue transplant, such as a lung, heart or kidney. This does not mean that an implant cannot fail, but it would be due to other factors, such as misalignment, improper force on the implant or other conditions or existing diseases of the patient. Dental implants are made of a material, titanium, that is totally bio compatible(compatible with body tissues) and actually integrates with the surrounding bone and becomes part of the body.Titanium is also being used more and more in the medical field to replace body parts.

Generally, we recommend the day of and the following day after surgery, that no strenuous exercise be done. You can expect to be slightly swollen. The amount of time off required is an individual decision.

When you lose your teeth, you gradually lose the bone that supported them. As this bone disappears, problems with other teeth nearby and a lack of support for dentures, partials and bridges increase. These could include pain, mobility, lack of retention for prosthetics, sharp, painful ridges, mobile gum tissue and sore spots. The tongue enlarges to accommodate spaces of missing teeth. With tooth loss, a five-fold decrease in function occurs and the diet shifts to softer foods. Also, when bone is lost, numbness to the lower lip or even the possibility of fracture of the jaw rises.

Since the bone is deteriorating, it will spread and deteriorate around healthy teeth and ultimately cause the loss of those teeth. I think everyone's heard of the "domino effect". Here's a very easy way to explain what happens. Picture a brick wall; take a brick right out of the middle of the wall. What happens? Eventually, the brick above starts to fall in from lack of support, the bricks to the side start shifting toward each other and those eventually fall out; then the process starts all over for those bricks nearest them. It's a similar process in the mouth. In addition, this progression will affect the ability to provide the same treatment in the later stages of bone loss than if treatment had been started earlier in the process. It's much better to replace a tooth BEFORE all of the side effects kick in. By waiting, you risk the possibility of not being able to provide the same, simple type of treatment that would have been possible earlier.

Anyone who is missing one or more (even all) of their teeth may be a candidate for implants. If one or a few of the teeth are missing, implants in conjunction with a crown or bridge can replace those teeth and function as normal teeth without losing more bone and being subject to decay. If all or most of your teeth are missing, then implants may be placed to anchor a loose denture. Sometimes, if there is already some bone loss, bone can be added and regenerated or a technique called bone expansion can be used to create a more ideal site for the implant(s). More detailed information and images are available from the treatment menu. Ultimately, a consultation with a dentist who is knowledgeable on these procedures can help determine your individual needs.

Many types of dentists may be qualified to diagnose implant treatment, such as a periodontist, oral surgeon or general dentist. However, keep in mind that not all dentists have had adequate training and education in this growing field and may possibly (but not intentionally) mis-diagnose or more commonly, discourage the option of implants due to lack of knowledge of the procedure. One of the ways to ensure that the dentist you choose is properly trained to diagnose and place implants is to contact the American Academy of Implant Dentistry at the address or phone below or we have now integrated a "doctor search" area in our site.You may access this through the search button below. There are also other implant based organizations,such as the International Congress of Implantology (ICOI), that could also help in choosing a dentist, these are just a couple. If you can't find a dentist in your area through the information in this site, you may get additional information through the ICOI doctor database by clicking on their icon below.


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