If you lose one or more teeth due to periodontal disease, dental decay or trauma, there is hope. Dental implants are changing the way people live! They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. A person who has lost their dentition, regains the ability to eat virtually anything. This person can smile with confidence, knowing that their teeth appear natural. and that facial contours will be preserved. Replacing missing teeth with implants helps to prevent the deterioration of bone which occurs when teeth are lost.
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone to replace the missing teeth. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, thus creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.
If you feel implant dentistry is the right choice for you, Dr. Gainey and his staff will ask that you undergo a specific oral examination, with radiographs as required. During this consultation appointment, your questions, concerns and expectations will be fully addressed.
We will also discuss fees and dental insurance at this time. There are many types of insurance plans, and implant coverage is varied. We will be happy to assist you in obtaining any benefits to which you may be entitled.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, implant surgery involves a single surgical procedure. Implants are carefully placed within your jawbone. Healing time following surgery varies from person to person and is based on a variety of factors, including the hardness of bone. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed. In most cases, patients are able to wear temporary dentures, and eat a soft diet. Discomfort is usually minimal and recuperation is swift.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, Dr. Gainey will assess the implant connection to the bone, and refer you back to your practitioner, who will begin to fabricate your new teeth. An impression will be taken at that time to construct the final prosthesis. The entire implant procedure usually takes four to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their normal daily life.
What Types of Prosthesis are Available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth, and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. The number of implants required varies depending on which type of prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (also called an overdenture) attaches to a milled bar or a “ball in socket” attachment. A fixed prosthesis is not removable, and provides a restoration which most closely replicates the natural dentition.
Dr. Gainey performs in-office dental implant surgery under local anesthesia, with sedation (if required). He has received extensive training in Dental Implantology, and has placed more than 5000 dental implants. Dr. Gainey is abreast of the most current concepts in implant dentistry including “TEETH-IN-AN-HOUR™.”