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.
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.
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.
The majority of dental implants and bone grafts can be performed in the office under local anesthesia.
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. If you are a denture patient you should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr Pete will uncover the implants and attach small posts that protrude through the gums and will act as anchors for the artificial teeth or they will be used to anchor down your denture . Regardless of whether you are using your implant to support a denture or to replace a missing tooth, these posts will not be seen. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes four to five months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Pete is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of twelve weeks of healing time before a permanent artificial tooth can be placed. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.
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 dentist.
This will be discussed with you by Dr. Pete as care will vary depending upon the type of implant therapy you receive. Oral and written instructions will be provided.