Dental Implants-New way to happy smileWhat is a dental implant?
A dental implant is nothing more than a metal screw that is placed into the jaw bone. It acts as an anchor for a false tooth or a set of false teeth. The slide to the left shows the replacement of a lateral incisor with a dental implant retained restoration. Roll your cursor over the image to see the implant.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Anyone in reasonable health who wants to replace missing teeth. You must have enough bone in the area of the missing teeth to provide for the anchorage of the implants. Some people are missing all their teeth and most of those are excellent candidates for dental implants, but today, we use implants to replace small bridges, removable partial dentures and even missing single teeth.
Description of Procedure:
An ideal solution for people who have a missing tooth or teeth, but are in good general oral health, dental implants replace both the tooth and the root. Versatile, strong and natural-looking, dental implants can be used to replace one tooth, or a number of teeth.
The result is better health (able to bite and chew, creates a comfortable bite, reduces chances of gum disease), enhanced aesthetics, and improved speech.

How It’s Done:
To replace one tooth, the patient must see either an oral surgeon or a dentist trained in implants. A screw is surgically implanted into the bone of the jaw to hold the tooth in place. Once that implantation is healed, the dentist will place the implant restoration.
For the restoration, an impression of the existing teeth will be made and sent to a dental laboratory. The lab will create a tooth designed specifically to fit in the space, and match the size and shape of the remaining healthy teeth. Once the implant is complete, the dentist will place the new tooth in the mouth, shaping and adjusting to fit your bite.

Does it hurt to have dental implants placed?
The actual procedure to surgically place a dental implant is done under local anesthesia and is generally not at all painful. When the anesthesia wears off about three or four hours later, you might expect some discomfort. The level of discomfort is quite different from patient to patient, but most patients do not have significant problems. Some patients do have varying degrees of pain or discomfort which may last for several days. Swelling and black & blueing may also develop.
In cases where there is prolonged pain, you should see your dentist right away. Prolonged pain is not a good sign with dental implants and although it does not always mean failure, the cause of the pain should be determined as soon as possible. If an implant is not properly integrating into the adjacent bone or if an infection develops, the implant may have to be removed.