Dental Implant Options
If you lose a tooth, or several teeth, because of advancing periodontal disease, or another cause, there is hope. Today’s dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like your natural teeth. With dental implants, you regain the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that your teeth appear natural and that your facial contours are being preserved.
The dental implants are tiny titanium posts that are expertly placed into your jawbone 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 inevitable 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 you’re considering implant dentistry, you will want to schedule a comprehensive exam appointment. During this initial examination appointment, Dr. Funderburk will address your individual needs, carefully weighing any special considerations you may have. Your questions and concerns are very important to the Comfort Dental team. You can count on us to listen and to act accordingly, working hand-in-hand with you to ensure your dental procedures are a success and all your dental goals are met.
Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants are metal anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes. The implants are surgically placed into your jawbone. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. 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, while Dr. Funderburk designs your final bridgework or denture, ultimately improving both function and aesthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase of your dental treatment begins. During this time, your implants are uncovered and a small healing collar attached. Dr. Funderburk can then start making your new teeth. To do this, an impression of your teeth is taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The replacement teeth are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months total. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life during this treatment time.
Single Stage Implants
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Funderburk 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 your 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.
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/removeable) 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 a professional.
Why Select Dental Implants Over Other Restorations?
There are several reasons why dental implants may be the best choice for you. 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 can be performed in the office with local anesthesia, with or without light sedation. Most patients report that implants involve less discomfort than a tooth extraction.
Do Dental Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means making time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?
In general, dental implants are not covered by dental insurance at this time. Coverage under your medical plan may be possible, depending on the insurance plan and/or cause of your tooth loss. Detailed questions about your individual needs and how they relate to insurance should be discussed with our staff along with your insurance provider.