Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which 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. Today, dental implants have become one of the most predictable tooth replacements available.
Dr. Lee specializes in immediate placement and immediate loading of dental implants in addition to traditional implant placement techniques. He will decide with you and your restorative dentist if you are a candidate for any of these treatment options.
When a person loses a tooth, the body starts reabsorbing the jaw bone that used to hold that tooth in place since the body thinks it does not need that tooth anymore. Therefore, dental implants help preserve facial structure by preventing jaw bone deterioration by fooling the body into thinking that the tooth is still in place.
The placement of dental implants usually involves one or two surgical procedures, depending on the patient’s anatomy. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to four 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.
Dental Implant Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
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After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Lee will uncover the implants and attach small posts, which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. These posts protrude through the gums. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes four to eight months. However, recent advances have shortened the healing times. Dr. Lee can discuss this with you during your initial consultation. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Lee is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are 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. Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible, in select cases, to extract teeth and place implants with crowns at one visit. This procedure, called “immediate loading,” greatly simplifies the surgical process.Implants are team effort between an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and a Restorative Dentist. While Dr. Lee performs the actual implant surgery, and initial tooth extractions and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis that is placed on top of the implant. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
Dr. Lee performs in-office implant surgery in a state of the art office based surgical facility. For patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs, outpatient surgery can be performed in the hospital setting.
The majority of dental implants and bone grafting can be performed in the office under local anesthesia and/or IV general anesthesia.
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 and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.