Smiles matter. Think about it, family pictures, expressing happiness, showing gratitude, are all things that a smile can convey, or make look better if you’ve lost a tooth (or a few teeth) due to injury or disease. Dental implants can rejuvenate both your smile and your oral health. And locally, we are your St George dental implant experts.
An implant is a synthetic or artificial tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The “root” is usually made of titanium: the same material used in many replacement hips and knees, and a metal that is well-suited to pairing with human bone. A replacement tooth is then fixed to the post. This replacement tooth can either be put in permanently or be removable.
The ideal candidate for dental implant surgery is a non-smoker who has good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, and healthy gums with no sign of gum disease. The average success rate of dental implants, for individuals with good oral health, is 90-95% over a 10 year period. Maintaining good oral hygiene is key for the long-term use of dental implants.
Single or Multiple Dental Implants
Implants are versatile. If you are only missing one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will do the trick. Since placing one or two implants takes less time than multiple implants, local anesthesia is generally used. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth). Another case that we see a lot is when someone is missing many teeth, we can strategically place implants.
Advantages Over Removable Dentures or Bridges
Conventional bridges and removable dentures are not fixed to the bone, and can, therefore, be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. Implants not only look more natural, but they can provide a more confident bite and smile. And because they don’t directly rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants don’t wear away surrounding teeth. In fact, bridges are only expected to last seven to ten years, whereas implants will typically last a lifetime. At the Oral & Facial Surgery Institute, we are your St George dental implants expert.
Consider your replacement teeth to be the same as natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same amount of regular checkups. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements, the longer they will last.
St George Dental Implants Services
Our services include:
- Sinus Lift Augmentation: Often the sinuses will enlarge following the loss of the upper back teeth. This can preclude placement of dental implants in the upper back areas of the mouth since the sinus is an air-filled space and dental implants need to be surrounded by solid bone. A sinus lift augmentation/graft is a surgical procedure that restores the sinus cavity to its original size and replaces the bone that has been lost as a result of the enlarged sinus. This new bone graft typically takes nine to 12 months to heal before the dental implants can be placed into the grafted bone.
- Autogenous Bone Grafting: Occasionally, the ideal areas for dental implants do not have sufficient bone growth or quantity to support the implants. In these cases, it is often necessary to “borrow” bone from another area of your mouth and graft it into the deficient area. Often, the area of choice is from the chin or in the back of the jaw where your wisdom teeth used to be.
- Implant Site Development: When a tooth needs to be removed due to infection, it is not uncommon to have lost bone around the infected tooth. In these cases, various types of bone grafting can be done at the same time the tooth is removed to facilitate the placement of a dental implant at a later date.
- Computer-Enhanced Treatment Planning: We have special software on our computer that allows us to evaluate your dental CT scan in three dimensions for bone quality, bone quantity, and bone location, enabling the best possible placement of your dental implants. This also allows us to work closely and smoothly with your restorative dentist to ensure an ideal result where your dental implants are concerned.
- Implant Maintenance: Once your dental implant restoration is completed, it is important to keep the area clean and infection-free. Dental implants can accumulate plaque and tartar just as teeth can. Whether you have just one tooth replaced by an implant or several, a professional cleaning schedule will be necessary to keep your implants healthy. The time interval for these professional cleanings will be determined by your individual needs.