Dental Implants Dentistry Norwood, MA | Mansfield, MA
Dental implants have revolutionized dentistry by changing the way we replace missing teeth. Unlike older, traditional restorative procedures (bridges, partial dentures and full dentures) dental implants do not compromise the esthetics, function or integrity of remaining natural teeth. They are therefore superior to previously established treatment options for replacing missing teeth. Implant dentistry has significantly enhanced our patients expectations regarding dental care and has improved the quality of life for millions of people across the world.
In the 1950s, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon, discovered that when titanium is implanted in bone, the two substances fuse predictably, safely, and securely. From this revolutionary discovery, known as osseointegration, grew the concept of dental implants. With his pioneering research, Dr. Branemark has created an opportunity for renewed comfort and self-confidence among millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.
With the exception of growing children, people of all ages who are missing teeth can benefit from dental implants. Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Implants allow people who have lost teeth to regain the ability to eat and enjoy any food they desire.
Dental implant teeth not only appear natural, but they also help to maintain jaw bone structure and provide lip and cheek support, essential for a good facial cosmetic appearance. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence, speak and eat with comfort and efficiency.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are tiny titanium cylinders, which are inserted into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The implants serve as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Each implant has a hollow receptacle that receives a small post called an abutment. When the implant is healed (integrated with the bone) the abutment is attached to the implant. The abutment protrudes through the gums and provides stable support for artificial replacement teeth.
Why Select Dental Implants Over Traditional Restorations?
Prior to the discovery of osseointegration and development of dental implants, all restorative options for replacing missing teeth (bridges, partial dentures, full dentures) resulted in a compromise of the esthetics, function, and/or integrity of remaining natural teeth.
In order to place a conventional bridge, teeth on either side of the missing tooth must be crowned (capped). This requires stripping the outer surface of two healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth and placing crowns (caps) on each in order to provide support for a false tooth in the middle.
Partial dentures are bulky, removable appliances made of plastic and metal which clip into place. They are retained by unaesthetic clasps which engage several teeth for retention and support. Partial dentures tend to be uncomfortable due to the large size. They also trap food and plaque which can promote dental caries (cavities) and periodontal disease. Due to dependence on natural teeth for retention, partial dentures can generate destabilizing pressure, loosening supporting teeth. Older partial dentures tend to settle which can further loosen supporting teeth. As partial dentures and full dentures settle over time they create pressure on the alveolar ridge (jaw ridge) which accelerates post-extraction bone loss. Partial dentures and full dentures are not nearly as efficient or comfortable as natural teeth or implants for chewing and speaking.
Replacing missing teeth with dental implants does not require treatment or involvement of other teeth. Since implants help to preserve bone by preventing bone deterioration (bone resorption) that occurs in areas of missing teeth, they are physiologically superior to conventional bridges, partial dentures and full dentures.
The Surgical Procedure
The placement of dental implants may be done in one or two surgical stages. In certain cases, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures (two stages). In the first stage, implants are placed into the jawbone through small, precise preparations created in the bone with a specially designed slow speed drill. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants remain buried beneath the gingiva (gum) gradually bonding (integrating) with the jawbone. During the healing phase, you will be able to wear temporary teeth or dentures provided by your dentist. You will need to chew on the other side of the mouth or eat a soft diet to avoid creating pressure on the implants while they are healing.
After the implants have integrated with the jawbone, the second surgical stage begins. Dr. Turesky will uncover the implants and attach the abutments. The abutments protrude through the gingiva and provide support for the artificial tooth (crown/cap) or over-denture. When the artificial teeth are placed, the abutments will not be seen. The entire healing process usually takes three to six months to complete. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life. The two-stage surgical technique is most commonly utilized in cases where simultaneous bone grafting is required in order to provide additional bone support for the implant due to a narrow ridge.
Dr. Turesky will frequently place single-stage dental implants. Rather than burying implants beneath the gingiva, healing abutments are placed on the implants at the time of surgery. Healing abutments are small metal posts that minimally protrude through the gum tissue. The healing abutment is removed and replaced by a permanent abutment in 3-6 months when the implant is fully healed and integrated with the bone. The implant is ready to receive an artificial tooth (crown/cap) anytime after the permanent abutment has been placed. These implants do not require a second surgical procedure to uncover them.
In some cases the implants can be placed at the same time as tooth extraction, further minimizing the number of surgical procedures. Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible, in select cases, to extract teeth and place implants with crowns at one visit. This procedure, called immediate loading, eliminates the inconvenience of removable temporary teeth and significantly reduces overall chair time and the number of office visits.
Who Performs the Implant Placement?
Replacing teeth with dental implants is a team effort between the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and Restorative Dentist. While Dr. Turesky performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extraction, and bone grafting if necessary, your dentist makes the prosthesis (crown, bridge, or overdenture). Your dentist will also make a surgical template and temporary prosthesis prior to surgery if one is needed during the implant healing process.
Are You a Candidate for Implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants due to poor bone structure, bone grafting may be recommended to correct the problem.
If you require tooth extraction and you are thinking of replacing the tooth with a dental implant, a consultation visit is strongly recommended prior to the extraction appointment so that Dr. Turesky can determine the best way to proceed and inform you of all your options. Please see our information regarding dental extractions, socket preservation graft, socket reconstruction graft, and dental implant video on this website for detailed information concerning these topics.
What Prosthetic Options are Available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth; each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A fixed bridge prosthesis can replace three or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants required depends upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is utilized. A removable complete prosthesis (over-denture) actually snaps into place; it fastens to a specially designed implant abutment utilizing a ball in socket attachment. An over-denture has much better retention and stability than an old-fashioned conventional denture. Two implants are usually required for a lower over-denture and four implants are required for an upper over-denture. The upper over-denture does not require palatal coverage which greatly improves patient comfort. A fixed complete prosthesis, which replaces all the teeth in the arch, typically requires 8 implants per jaw; however, the number of implants used will vary from case to case. A fixed prosthesis is permanently secured and can be removed only by the dentist.
Dr. Turesky performs dental implant surgery exclusively in his office where he is specially equipped to provide state of the art dental implant and bone grafting treatment. It is not necessary to use a hospital for dental implant surgery.
What type of Anesthesia is Used?
Dental implant surgery can be performed in complete comfort at our office using any one of the following anesthetic options: local anesthesia, intravenous general anesthesia (asleep), intravenous conscious sedation, nitrous oxide gas anesthesia with local anesthesia, oral sedation with local anesthesia. Dr. Turesky will discuss all anesthetic options with you during your consultation appointment.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This requires taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dentist.