Dental Implant Therapy is designed to look, feel, and function like your natural dentition. This results in a return to healthy oral function which allows for the consumption and proper digestion of foods critical to general health. In addition, the restoration of teeth supports facial contours that sink in or flatten, often associated with aging.
Implants themselves are small titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. This is performed in the office in a routine dental operatory and postoperative evaluation occurs approximately 14 days following treatment. Implants are highly successful due to the fusion of the implant and bone in a process known as osseointegration. The total time for this to occur usually requires 8-12 weeks after which the procedure to place the teeth on the implant(s) begin. In very select situations, teeth may be secured to implants at the time of surgery.
In certain situations implants can be placed at the time of tooth extraction. Bone grafting may be necessary to preserve tissues around implants or rebuild lost tissues prior to implant placement due to long-term tooth absence or trauma. Fortunately, once implant osseointegration has occurred, normal masticatory function (chewing) stimulates the bone and helps it remain viable and healthy. Daily home care is critical for implant health and professional attention to these areas occurs at routine maintenance visits.