Dental implants 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. The implants are artificial roots made from titanium or zirconia which are surgically placed into the jaw bone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the implant, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, when placed around the time of extraction, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are removed.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
Evaluation for Dental Implants
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 these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by Dr. Dominov. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
Dental Implant Procedure
The implant procedure consists of two phases – the surgical phase where the implant body is placed into the jaw bone (the part below the gum), and the restorative phase, where the tooth replacement (the part above the gum) is placed on the implant once the implant has fully healed.
Dr. Dominov is one of the few dentists in the area that does both the surgical phase and the restorative phase. He uses a restorative-driven approach, where the position of implant placement is determined by the needs of the restoration. Custom-made positional guides, or templates, are used during surgery for precise angulation, so that the implant body is in an optimal location for the final restoration.
The surgical procedure is usually a minor procedure, with little post-operative discomfort similar to that seen with a simple extraction. Occasionally, supplemental bone grafting is necessary to fully encase the implant in bone, especially if the surgical site has seen significant bone loss following extraction. In either case, the implant is left in place to heal for six weeks to six months before the restorative phase can begin.
After the implant has healed, the restorative phase begins. A connector piece called an abutment is attached to the implant, which protrudes through the gums. The abutment serves as the foundation for the final restoration, which can be a single crown, a fixed bridge or a removable denture. There are many types of abutments, designed for different applications. Dr. Dominov will select the abutment most appropriate for your final restoration.
For some patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, dental implants are placed within your jaw bone. For the first six weeks to six months following surgery, the implant is beneath the surface of the gums, gradually bonding with the jaw bone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time.
After the dental implant has bonded to the jaw bone, the second phase begins. After healing, Dr. Dominov will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. In some cases, the gum tissue will need to be sculpted by using a healing abutment that closely resembles the contours of the final restoration. Once the gum tissue has healed, Dr. Dominov places the type of abutment designed for your situation, and makes an impression for the laboratory to begin construction of your final restoration.
The entire procedure usually takes three to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.