Dental Implants

Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.

What Are Dental Implants?

The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.

Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.

The Surgical Procedure

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. At the same time, your dentist is forming new replacement teeth.

Dr. Burger will uncover the implants and attach a small post called a healing abutment. The healing abutment protrudes through the gums to prepare tThe patient is able to remove the he tissue for a future crown. Sometimes to avoid a second surgical procedure, Dr. Burger is able to place the healing abutment at the same time as the implant is placed. This depends on the density of the bone and how secure the implant is during placement.

                         

  
    View of top of implant within the tissue with healing colar on top of Implant
                                                           
Surgical Advances
 
The field of dental implantology is constantly evolving. Dr. Burger has developed a bone grafting procedure that has been published in national scientific journals and has recieved international recognition (for more information on this procedure see bone grafting procedures).
 
The surface of the implant has been prepared with hydroxyapapite to increase the bonding to the surrounding bone. In some cases, Dr. Burger is able to place the implant immediately after an extraction. This further minimizes the number of surgical procedures and the amount of time before you recieve the crown.

Dental Implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While Dr. Burger 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.

What Types Of Prosthesis Are Available?

A single implant crown is used to replace one missing tooth. To avoid cutting adjacent teeth for a fixed bridge, the missing tooth can be replaced with one implant. This eliminates the possibility of injury the adjacent teeth and provide a more hygienic dentition. This implant was placed over 20 years ago showing excellent health of the surrounding gums and the crown has never been replaced.
                                                                      Single Implant Crown

                

                                                 

                                                                                                                             
A removable implant supported over denture has small round clips on the inside of the denture that snap onto special abutments on the implants. The patient below has an upper and lower complete denture supported . 

  
                                               
Patient with upper and lower removable implant supported over dentures.  Six Dental Implants in upper arch supported by dental implants with abutments that attach to the inside of the upper denture.
                                                                                  

The fixed prosthesis has a framework that the denture is screwed to which is permanent and is only able to be removed by the dentist.

Framework Attached To Four Dental Implants                                             Top View Of Fixed Prosthesis                                                                              

                                                              Front View Of Fixed Prosthesis
                                  

                                              Patient smiling with fixed prosthesis on Dental Implants
                                                                                    
Dr. Burger performs in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting.

Why Dental Implants?

Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.

Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.

A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingv Branemark, developed this concept for oral rehabilitation more than 35 years ago. With his pioneering research, Dr. Branemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.

Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?

There are several reasons: 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.

Are You A Candidate For Implants?

If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.

What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?

The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without general anesthesia.

Do 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 taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.