WHAT IS A DENTAL IMPLANT?
Dental implants are the most natural way to replace a missing tooth. Made of titanium metal, the implants are surgically embedded in the jawbone as a substitute that takes the place of a tooth root. Through a process called osseointegration, the bone grows around the implant, fusing the two together & providing a secure anchor for crowns, bridges or dentures.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS LIKE?
Before any work can be done, the doctor must perform a thorough assessment of the patients medical & dental history, as well as a full-mouth examination, including specific x-rays. The doctor then uses this information to map out a complete treatment plan. Once this is done, the patient undergoes local anesthesia & surgical insertion of titanium metal implants into the jawbone. After a period of healing, which varies according to type of implant & quality & quantity of bone, crowns, bridges or dentures can be firmly attached to the implant.
HOW MANY IMPLANTS SHOULD BE PLACED?
Many factors, such as quality & quantity of the patients bone, the existing anatomy of the bone & the patients financial budget must be taken into consideration during the treatment planning to determine the number of implants a patient should receive. To ensure lasting success, enough implants need to be placed to support the teeth, & the traditional ratio is one implant per tooth replaced. If the number of implants is limited in efforts to save the patient money, keep in mind implants that fail because there are not enough to securely hold the teeth in place can be even more costly in the long run. In these cases, instead of sacrificing the overall success of the procedure, we can avoid implant treatment altogether or alter the type of restoration according to the patients financial constraints.