Dental Implants (Single & Multiple Tooth Replacements)
Dental implants have revolutionized modern dentistry and profoundly impacted patients’ lives because they provide the closest replacement to natural teeth. For those who have lost teeth, dental implants provide patients with replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are precision designed screws made from the highest medical grade titanium alloy. They are designed to replicate the missing tooth root, and to accept various customized components to replace the crown of the tooth.
The dental implant is surgically inserted into your upper or lower jaw bone. The implant is so bio-compatible it actually becomes fused to the bone through a process called osseointegration.
Dental Implant Surgery
Historically, implant surgery was performed in two stages. First, the implant was placed into the jawbone, and the implant was permitted to heal undisturbed under the gums for 3-4 months. A second stage procedure was necessary to expose the implant and confirm that the implant had bonded to the bone.
The surgeon then attached a special post to the implant called a healing abutment, which permitted the gums to heal in such a way that the restorative dentist could have access to the implant in order to fabricate the crown to replace the tooth.
Advances in dental implant design, materials, and treatment planning technology have permitted Dr. Tillery to predictably perform the majority of their implant surgeries in a single-stage operation, placing the healing abutment at the time of surgery. This permits most dental implants to be restored by the restorative dentist 3-4 months.
Also, with the use of our In office CT Scanner (ICAT) and Virtual Implant Treatment planning software, Dr. Tillery can also offer cutting edge “minimally invasive dental implant surgery” using 3D/CT-Guided Surgery technology. This permits even more precision and accuracy in the implant placement, often without traditional incisions or place sutures, with less swelling, less discomfort, and faster post-op recovery.
What kind of Dental Implant Prosthesis and Tooth Replacements are Available?
- A single crown is used to replace one missing tooth – each replacement tooth attaches to its own implant.
- An Implant Bridge can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants.
- A Full Arch Prosthesis replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of Full Arch Prosthesis (removable or fixed) is desired. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or special ball and socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanently attached to the jaw bone and removable only by the dentist.
What Kind of Anesthesia is Used?
The implant surgical procedure can be performed under Local Anesthesia or IV Sedation depending on the patient’s individual medical needs and desires.
What is the Process Involved and Who Places the Dental Implant?
Dental implants procedures involve coordination between a Restorative Dentist (General Dentist, Cosmetic Dentist or Prosthodontist) and the Implant Surgeon (Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon).
This way, the surgeon can place the appropriate type and size of implant in the position and angulation that will best serve the restorative dentist in creating a customized, natural & esthetic appearing, strong, and long-lasting replacement tooth.
Typically, a patient is referred for a consultation by their restorative dentist. At the consultation, the patient’s wishes and desires are discussed, their medical history is reviewed, the patient is examined an x-ray or a CT scan is taken, and a treatment plan is presented. Dr. Tillery will take the time to inform the patient of his findings and give recommendations to the patient, and answer all of the patient’s questions.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
- Stability: Because the jawbone tissues fuse with the implant, these tooth replacements are even more secure then the patient’s real teeth.
- Natural Look and Feel: These permanent restorations function just like natural teeth, and because the porcelain crowns are designed to match a patient’s tooth color perfectly, no one will know they are artificial.
- Dental Health: Bridges require shaving down normally healthy tooth structure on adjacent teeth to support the dental bridge. This makes the tooth more susceptible to decay, sensitivity, and may even require root-canal therapy in the future. Bridges need to be replaced every 7-12 years on average. Additionally, one loses the ability to floss regularly between the teeth making one more susceptible to gum disease.
- Bone Health: Artificial tooth roots stimulate the jawbone in the same manner as natural tooth roots, helping to maintain bone density. This stimulation can prevent the sagging, collapsed facial appearance that often accompanies tooth loss.
Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Almost anyone who is missing a tooth or multiple teeth is a candidate for dental implants with few exceptions. Dr. Tillery can determine who is a candidate for dental implants after reviewing the patient’s medical history, examining the patient and obtaining X-rays. Old age is not a factor, however, as patients well into their 90’s and even early 100’s have successfully received dental implants.
What Special Care Do Implants Need?
The implants are expected to serve well for many years to come if they are taken care of by maintaining proper oral hygiene practices like brushing, flossing, and keeping regular appointments with dental specialists and hygienists.
We not only serve patients who live in Winter Park and Oviedo but also the surrounding communities of Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake county.
For more information on how Dr. Tillery can improve your oral health, smile and quality of life with dental implants, please contact our office today to speak with one of our office staff.