Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. The implants are tiny titanium posts which are placed into the jaw bone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
Evaluation for Dental Implants
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by either Dr. Fitzgerald or by an Implant Surgeon referred by our practice. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants are metal anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jaw bone, and will provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth. They can be used for to replace a single tooth, to support a bridge replacing 3 or more teeth, or to hold dentures firmly in place.
For many patients, the placement of dental implants involves one surgical procedure. First, implants are placed within your jaw bone, and covered with a small healing collar that extends to gum level. For three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums, gradually bonding with the jaw bone. If you are missing just one tooth, a temporary tooth is made for you to wear so you can speak and smile in confidence. Denture wearers are able to wear their existing dentures or new temporary dentures during this time. At the same time, Dr. Fitzgerald designs the final implant supported crown, bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jaw bone, the second phase begins. Dr. Fitzgerald can then start making your new teeth. Impressions of the existing teeth, gums and implants are taken. Then posts or attachments called abutment can be connected to the implants. The replacement teeth are then made over the abutments. The entire procedure can take as little as three tot four months, and other cases six to eight months, depending on your specific situation. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.