Dental Implants and Bone Grafting
Dental implants are a proven and predictable option if you are missing one or more teeth due to periodontal disease, decay or injury. A dental implant is a titanium screw surgically placed into the jawbone as a foundation, similar to a tooth root. To replace the visible portion of the tooth, a dental crown or bridge is connected to the implant by an abutment. After placement, dental implants undergo a process that fuses the implant with the bone known as osseointegration. If proper healing occurs, and regular maintenance visits are kept, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Dental implants can replace one, several or all missing teeth. Dental implants involve three steps:
- Surgery to place the implant into the jaw bone
- Impression using special parts to fabricate an abutment and crown
- Attachment of the crown and abutment to the implant
If your jawbone lacks adequate bone for dental implants, you may require bone grafting before implant placement can take place. A bone graft creates a more solid base for the implant and can ensure the long-term health of an implant after it has healed.
Bone grafting involves the surgical placement of bone from your own jaw bone, another bone in your body or cadaver bone into the missing tooth site to create a more stable foundation. The type of graft used will depend on the situation and the amount of bone needed to optimize the missing tooth site for a dental implant.
Dental implant surgery is usually performed using local anesthetic and oral/IV sedation in multi-appointment stages as an outpatient procedure. The number of appointments and time frame will vary, depending on the number of implants being placed and the condition of your jawbone before surgery. It typically takes anywhere from 3-18 months to complete the process, and most of the time is spent waiting for the growth of new bone in your jaw and healing time between procedures.
We encourage you to ask any of our staff about replacing your missing teeth with dental implants, a proven and predictable solution to restore your smile and function to optimal health!