If you lose one or more teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease, or another cause, there is hope. 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 and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a tooth root replacements that are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth. Implants can be used as a foundation for crowns, bridges and dentures. The implants themselves are small titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing.
After the appropriate healing process, the bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums (called abutments) are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth .
Dental implants also help preserve bone and facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During this consultation visit, Dr. Klotz will address your specific needs and considerations. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
We will also discuss fees and insurance at this time. There are many types of insurance plans, and coverage for implants is varied. We will be happy to assist you in obtaining any benefits to which you may be entitled.
The Surgical Procedure
The placement of dental implants usually involves only one or two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. Healing time following surgery varies from person to person and is based on a variety of factors, such as hardness of bone and implant stability. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed.
Usually, for the first two to three months following the surgery, dental 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 at this time. At the same time, Dr. Klotz designs the final bridgework or denture that will ultimately improve both function and esthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Klotz will be able to start making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Then posts or abutments can be connected to the implants. The teeth replacements are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes between three and six months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.
What Types of Prosthesis 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) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over-denture) clips on to the abutments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by a professional.
Dr. Klotz specializes in implant restoration and treatment planning and has received extensive training in dental implantology. He is abreast of the most current information on implant dentistry, such as immediate loading and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT).