Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence. For more information regarding dental implants in our El Cajon, California office, please give us a call at 619-334-8880.
What are Dental Implants?
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves one surgical procedure. Usually, the implant can be placed along with the healing abutment at the same time. This saves time and requires only one surgical procedure. Occasionally two surgical procedures are required. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your dentist is forming new replacement teeth.
After the jawbone has bonded to the implant, the second phase begins. If a two-stage procedure was done, Dr. Gadler will uncover the implants and attach healing abutments which will then require one month for maturation of the gum tissue around the healing abutments. Next, small posts known as final abutments are placed, which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. These posts protrude through the gums. Usually, Dr. Gadler will seat the final abutment and send your general dentist everything he/she will need to complete the process (impression cap, lab analog, & 2nd impression cap to be ground down & used as a temporary cap by your general dentist). Your General dentist will then fabricate and seat the final restoration (crown, bridge, or removable prosthesis). When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Gadler is able to place single stage implants, usually without the need for cutting open the gums (making a “flap”), and without the need for sutures. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of twelve weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures. Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible, in very select cases, to extract teeth and place implants with crowns at one visit. This procedure, called “immediate loading,” greatly simplifies the surgical process, but has a lower overall success rate.
Who actually performs the implant placement?
Placing implants is a team effort between an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, a Restorative Dentist or Prosthodontist. While Dr. Gadler performs the initial tooth extractions, implant placement and bone grafting (if necessary), your Restorative Dentist (your Dentist or Prosthodontist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your Restorative Dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
It may be worn 24 hours each day to help your jaw heal.
What types of prostheses are available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Dr. Gadler performs in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia. In most cases Dr. Gadler prefers to use readily available particulated or “synthetic” bone grafting materials thereby eliminating the need for a second potentially painful surgery and extra surgical site.
Why dental implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.
Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.
A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, developed this concept for oral rehabilitation more than thirty-five years ago. With his pioneering research, Dr. Branemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.
Why would you select dental implants over more traditional types of restorations?
There are several reasons: Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
What type of anesthesia is used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without general anesthesia.
Do Implants need special care?
Once the implants are in place, with proper care, they will serve you well for many years. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.