Before development of dental implants, dentures and bridges were the only alternative to replacing a missing tooth or teeth.
What are Dental Implants?
Implants are synthetic structures that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are anchored to the jawbone or metal framework on the bone and act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases, implants can be used to attach dentures.
Implants are so well designed that they look and feel like a natural teeth. Implants are usually made of a synthetic yet biocompatible material like metal.
Dental Implant Procedure
Surgery is necessary to prepare the area for an implant and place the implant in the mouth. Rest assured you are in great hands, as Dr. Jundt is not only a surgeon, but an MD as well! Following the procedure, a period of time is required for the implant to take hold and for bone tissue to build up and anchor the device.
Because implants require surgery, some patients are nervous about the procedure and request sedation, however, because of how quick and painless Dr. Jundt is over 95% of our patients choose not to and are completely fine. Antibiotics is usually administered afterwards to minimize any infection that could occur following the procedure.
Like any restoration, implants require diligent oral hygiene and proper care to ensure they last a long time.
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Sometimes a Sinus Augmentation is required for patients needing a tooth restored in their upper area of the mouth, as teeth can be close to the sinus cavity. Our 3D imaging system and our in depth consultations will show you if this is a necessary procedure with placement of an implant or not. The key to a successful and long-lasting dental implant is the quality and quantity of jawbone to which the implant will be attached. If bone loss has occurred due to injury or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor and allow for new bone formation.
The most common sinus augmentation procedure is when a small incision is made on the premolar or molar region to expose the jawbone. A small opening is cut into the bone, and the membrane lining the sinus is pushed upward. The underlying space is filled with bone grafting material. Sometimes, synthetic materials that can imitate bone formation are used. After the bone is implanted, the incision is stitched up and the healing process begins. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone.
If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.
The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option besides wearing loose dentures.
If your tooth has been missing for quite some time or there was an infection in your jaw site where an implant will be placed, a bone graft maybe necessary. Sometimes, there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. Our 3D imaging machine will be able to tell us if this is necessary or not BEFORE you are seen, so there is not any financial surprises during your procedure. This usually puts patients at ease knowing that their costs are not going to skyrocket while they are in the dental chair.
Today, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance.
Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease, or injuries. The bone is usually obtained from a tissue bank or your own bone is taken from the jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration. This is called guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration.