Dental implants can replace a single missing tooth or several teeth. They are the most realistic, tooth-like method of replacing missing teeth. Dr. Gonzales can replace a single tooth, or many teeth with implants. Thousands of people world-wide have successfully had dental implants placed with Dr. Gonzales. The success rate of implants is over 95%!
A tooth implant is a small titanium fixture that functions as a replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Ultimately the implant acts as an anchor for a dental prosthesis.
The dental prosthesis can include:
Implants can be placed so that they function totally independent of the remaining teeth. People will often lose a tooth due to a accident, medical reason or a traumatic incident. When traditional bridgework is used to replace a missing tooth, the surrounding teeth would need to be reshaped. This shaping process can expose these surrounding teeth to nerve damage. With a dental implant, it can be placed without damaging the surrounding sound teeth.
There is always a surgical phase and a restorative phase. The time span between these stages may vary, depending on each individual case. In some cases, the implant can have a ‘tooth’ placed immediately. At other times, a healing period of about three months is necessary.
Dental implant stages:
The implant surgery will be done in a comfortable and compassionate way at Sedation and Implant Dentistry Las Vegas, under local anesthetic or sedation using strict sterile operating techniques. To place an implant, small incisions are made into your gum to expose the underlying jaw bone. Using special tools, the implant is then inserted into the underlying jaw bone. The surgical area is then closed around a healing abutment and the dental implant is allowed to heal ‘osseointegrate’ (bony integration) for a period of three months.
If the tooth you are having replaced with a dental implant is in the aesthetic zone, you will be provided with an temporary denture. This will be placed immediately following the extraction of the tooth and insertion of the dental implant. This temporary denture is to keep you looking good in the three months while waiting for the implant to complete osseointegration.
At Sedation and Implant Dentistry Las Vegas, we believe that the appropriate standard of care for complete tooth loss (edentulousness) in the lower jaw is the provision of implant retained overdentures. Implant Retained Dentures are biologically conservative. Implants that are placed to retain dentures can function with total independence of the remaining teeth.
There is a male component attached to the implant with a female component housed within the denture. A minimum of two implants are required in the lower jaw, and often four to six implants in the upper jaw, to ensure the success of overdentures.
People with complete dentures often suffer traumatic ulcers from constantly moving dentures, as well as pain from exposed nerves due to bone loss. There may be also a need for relines, as well as having to cope with sticky, messy denture adhesives, not to mention the inability to taste or grasp food properly. With implants, stable dentures become a possibility.
The degree of integration of the implant to the bone will be examined after three months. Dr. Gonzales will perform a simple ‘torque test’. This short exam is completely painless and does not require any local anaesthetic. Provided osseointegration has been successful, our staff will take an impression of the dental implant. The impression is sent to our lab technician who will then construct the final crown. Dr. Gonzales will work with you so that the color and contour of the final crown will be as natural as possible.
It usually takes three weeks for the dental technician to construct the crown. At your follow up appointment, the crown is placed in your mouth and attached to the underlying implant. This procedure is often performed without local anaesthetic.
Maintaining optimal dental hygiene around your dental implant is a life-time commitment and will ensure the chances that your implant will remain successful.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take me to have a dental implant placed?
The actual placement of the dental implant is not a lengthy procedure – definitely shorter than having a crown preparation or root canal procedure performed. The surgical time may take anywhere from 30 minutes to place one implant in a highly accessible location – up to an hour for more difficult cases. The complete implant procedure most commonly takes 4 months to complete but can take in excess of 12 months, especially if additional procedures such as bone grafting are required.
Does it hurt?
This is a difficult question as pain is obviously subjective. As with any surgical procedure, there will be some discomfort. However, it is true to say that most patients are extremely surprised with how little discomfort they have in the hours following the procedure and the following day. Most people report that they return to work pain free the following day. Some of our patients have even had the surgical stage completed in the morning and returned to a full working day. Most people are surprised at how easy the entire implant procedure is. The consensus is that the placement of the implant is far less of an issue than the extraction of the natural tooth. As part of our standard practice, you will be adequately medicated with analgesics to ease any discomfort that may occur.
Am I suitable for dental implants?
The current prerequisite for dental implants is that you have to have ceased growing. In girls this can be as young as 15-16 years of age with boys often 17-18 years of age. There is no particular upper age limit to the placement of dental implants. Good health is often the determining factor rather than age. Provided that there is adequate bone and healthy gums that are free of gum disease, then dental implants may be right for you. There are some chronic diseases that may complicate the placement of dental implants. A complete and thorough dental examination, as well as a medical examination and history, is imperative prior to the placement of dental implants.
What if the dental implant procedure doesn’t work?
There are some cases where either for systemic or local reasons, a dental implant may fail to integrate with the jaw bone. In this case the implant will be removed. The site will be cleaned out and allowed to heal for three months. Often another attempt can be undertaken in the following months to achieve osseointegration.
How much do dental implants cost?
It is difficult to accurately quote the costs of dental implants without a customized treatment plan. Costs are dependent on several factors such as the number of implants that need to be placed, the number of teeth being replaced and whether grafting procedures are required or not. There are surgical variables and prosthetic variables to the total costs. To obtain a specific fee estimate, a thorough and customized diagnostic examination is necessary. This can be provided after the initial examination.