Dental implants are the preferred method to replace single or multiple missing teeth. By a process known as osseointegration, dental implants "fuse" with the surrounding bone, forming a stable foundation for crowns, bridges, or other implant prostheses. For the edentulous patient missing all of their upper or lower teeth, dental implants may be placed to secure an upper or lower denture, or even eliminate the need for a removable prosthesis altogether.
READ: What You Should Know About Dental Implants by Dr. Gulizio
Advantages of dental implants
- Helps to preserve bone in the jaw
- Eliminates the need for a removable partial denture for patients missing many teeth in the same arch
- Ensures the security of upper or lower dentures, thereby sparing the individual from potentially embarrassing situations in social settings
- Helps to lessen or eliminate the discomfort associated with dentures, especially with the lower denture
- Helps improve self-esteem and boosts confidence
- Improves overall health by allowing the individual to consume a normal, healthy diet
- Helps to maintain the shape of the face
Are dental implants for me? Ask yourself...
- Am I missing one or more teeth?
- Do I lack confidence because of my teeth or smile?
- Do I want natural- looking replacement teeth?
- Does wearing a denture restrict my ability to eat and smile comfortably?
Implants can replace missing teeth for people of any age. There are very few medical conditions that rule out dental implant treatment. As part of your comprehensive treatment evaluation, Dr. Gulizio will carefully review your medical and oral health and examine the condition of your teeth and gums, as well as the amount and quality of your jawbone. Specific x-rays and models will help to properly treatment plan your situation and determine if you are an appropriate candidate for dental implants.
The surgical procedure
Placement of implants is a surgical procedure, and may be accomplished in one of two ways. The "single-stage" approach necessitates a single surgical procedure. Once you are fully anesthetized (with local anesthesia), the surgeon will make an incision and carefully prepare a receiving site for the dental implant. The implant is then placed and the gum tissue sutured, with the top part of the dental implant left exposed.
The "two-stage" approach requires two surgical procedures. Once the dental implant is placed, the gum tissue is sutured over the top of the implant. After an appropriate healing phase (determined by the quality and quantity of your bone), a second surgery is required to expose the implant. Only then, can your prosthodontist proceed with the planned restoration.
The prosthetic procedure
An impression of the dental implant (or implants) is required, along with specific jaw records so that a prosthesis can be properly fabricated. Depending on the complexity of the situation, treatment may take as few as 2 visits, or when treatment is extremely difficult and challenging, multiple visits may be necessary.