Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that give a permanent based for fixed replacement teeth. The most common type of dental implant is called endosteal (in the bone). The other type of implant is call subperiosteal (on the bone). When compared to dentures, bridges or crowns, dental implants are a popular and an effective long-term solution for people with missing teeth, failing teeth from periodontal disease or other dental problems. Since dental implants fit, feel, function and look like natural teeth, dental implants are becoming the standard in teeth replacements.
So what makes dental implants feel completely natural and secure? Dr. Kathleen A. Stambaugh uses a medical-grade titanium implant fixture that fuses to the living bone cells of the jaw over time. This union creates a strong connection to your new dental implant teeth which means no movement can happen, unlike with dentures.
The Anatomy of Dental Implants
The Implant: A screw that serves as the new root for your new teeth. This is what permanently attaches to your jaw.
The Abutment: A permanent connector that supports and holds the tooth.
The Crown: This is the prosthetic tooth, or the visible part of the entire dental implant. It looks, feels and functions as a normal tooth. It’s usually made of zirconium or porcelain for durability and good looks.
Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Stambaugh is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.
The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. Dr. Stambaugh performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.