Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental Implants are replacements for lost teeth. They can be used to replace a single tooth or a multiple number of teeth, or a complete set of teeth. In some instances Dental Implants can be used to replace a failing tooth (for example after a failing root canal). Dental Implant consists of the same basic part: the crown, the post and the root. The Root of a natural tooth is similiar to the dental implant. The post and the crown of the dental implant is similiar to the crown portion of the natural tooth.  The difference is that the implant is made of an artificial material (Titanium or Zirconium)– the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.
Replacing the root can be done at the same time of the extraction of the tooth - immediate Implant or later traditional implant. In either of the cases Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium or zirconium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.  A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.

Cutting Edge

Currently two materials are available for manufacturing dental implants: Titanium and Zirconium. The latter is ceramic metal- free alternative to the traditional titanium dental implant. The general process of healing begins with the placement of the dental implant in direct contact with the bone, then over several months bone grows into the threads and creates a biologically stable connection with the dental implant. 

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Drs. Nikoyan and Matthews are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.

Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist.  Drs. Nikoyan and Matthews performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary.  The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant proces