Columbus Family Dental Center

Dental Implants

The Dental Implant - What is it?

Dental Implant FAQ

Dental Implants are man made bio-compatible titanium tooth roots that are surgically implanted into the jawbone. Once the implant has integrated with the jawbone an abutment is connected to the implant and a crown is permanently attached forming a replacement tooth that can last for a lifetime.

Dental implants are the gold standard for replacing teeth. The jaw bone requires consistent daily chewing forces to maintain proper form and bone density. Dental Implants supply the jawbone with proper chewing force enough to stop jawbone resorption.

Best of all, implants can restore chewing ability equal to natural teeth.

  • Dental Implants Explained

    Dental implants are man made titanium tooth roots that are surgically implanted into the jawbone. Once an implant has been incorporated into the jawbone a crown is attached forming a replacement tooth that often lasts for a lifetime.

    Dental implants are the new standard for replacing teeth. The jaw bone requires consistent daily chewing forces to maintain proper form and bone density. Dental Implants supply the jaw bone with proper chewing force enough to minimize jawbone atrophy called 'resorption'.

    Best of all, implants can restore your natural chewing ability.

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  • Can dental implants replace failing teeth?

    Of course, dental implants are the best way to restore failing teeth. Implants will minimize bone loss and if maintained will outlast bridgework and dentures. Best of all you can bite and chew like natural teeth. back to index

  • What are dental implants made of? Is there a chance of rejection?

    Implants have documented success rates over 95% for over 30 years. Implants are currently the standard for tooth replacement. Implants are the closest thing to natural teeth in appearance and function. Most implants are made of titanium. The human body accepts titanium very well, with little chance of rejection. back to index

  • Do I qualify for dental implant treatment?

    Patients missing one or more teeth that are in good health should qualify. Adequate bone is necessary but treatment is available to augment the jawbone if necessary. back to index

  • Should I replace my dentures with dental implants?

    Implants will restore your natural bite so there will be no restrictions on what you can bite and chew. But more importantly, without teeth providing a load to the supporting bone the jawbone will shrink. This is known as resorption. back to index

  • How long will dental implant treatment take?

    It depends upon the condition of the jawbone that supports the implant. If an additional procedure is necessary to augment the bone it could take between six to nine months. Some patients may qualify for Immediate Load known as "same day implants". back to index

  • Do dental implants require extra care and maintenance.

    No. Just normal dental hygiene exactly as you would care for your natural teeth. Get regular checkups, floss and brush daily and your dental implants will likely last for a lifetime. back to index

  • How long will a dental implant last?

    Dental implants are intended to be permanent and have a documented success rate of over 95%. They do, like any dental restoration, require proper oral hygiene and regular check-up visits to your dentist. In contrast to the average dental bridge that will last from 7-10 years and partials last about five years before replacement is necessary. back to index

  • Can my existing dentures be secured with a dental implant?

    The answer to this question will depend on whether or not the anchor will fit. You will need to make a consult appointment so that the doctor can evaluate your specific situation.

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  • Compare Dental Implants, Dentures and the Dental Bridge

    Dental Implants are embedded into the jaw bone so surrounding teeth are unaffected, in contrast a Dental Bridge requires the surrounding teeth, called abutment teeth, to be irreversibly modified with mounting hardware for the false tooth/teeth called the pontic. The pontic actually bridges the gap made between the lost teeth. The bridge is not a substitute for the tooth root and will not exercise the jaw bone to prevent atrophy. Both the gums and bone at the missing tooth gap eventually recede, leading to an unpleasing appearance.

    Dentures can look unnatural and feel unpleasant. Dentures often require frequent dental visits for adjustments or even complete replacement do to gum atrophy. Additionally, full arch dentures can be expected to result in bone resorption (reduction) of the jaw bone requiring costly additional treatment.

    Dental Implants are integrated into the jaw bone so surrounding teeth are unaffected and normal chewing pressure maintains the health of the gums and jaw bone. Implants have none of the drawbacks connected to the dental bridge or denture. back to index

  • Do dental implants require special care?

    Home care for a dental implant single tooth or for a dental implant crown and bridge is cleaned like a natural tooth, with regular brushing, flossing and regularly schedule hygiene appointments as directed by your dentist. Home care is a little more complicated for people who are missing all of their teeth, in that special brushes and floss are often recommended. Permanently fixed implant supported replacement teeth are cleaned like all other bridges. If a surgical specialists who placed the implant(s) is involved, they may want to see you at least once each year in addition to your regular dentist. These visits, combined with proper home care, are essential to the long term success of implant treatment. back to index

  • What is the cost of dental implant Treatment?

    The actual cost of dental implant treatment is based on a number of factors, such as the number of missing teeth being replaced, the type of implant supported teeth (treatment option) recommended and whether additional procedures are necessary to achieve the proper esthetic and functional result. The only way to accurately estimate the cost for an individual patient is to have an examination and consultation with your dental specialist. The total fee is usually comparable to other methods of tooth replacement; however, long-term, implant treatment is generally more cost effective than other options, such as bridges, partials and dentures that need to be replaced every 5-10 years. back to index

  • Is dental implant treatment covered by my insurance?

    Dental insurance coverage of implant treatment depends on your individual policy. Dental benefits are determined by the amount an employer is willing to spend on the policy. Generally, dental policies cover basic routine preventive maintenance, basic care and emergencies. Most insurance plans only cover the basics with an annual maximum allowable benefit of $1,000-$1,500. Most insurance plans do not include dental implant coverage; however, often they will pay the same benefit they would cover for the lowest cost alternative treatment option (partials and dentures) and some of the diagnostic records, if a specific request is made for alternative benefits. You should review your dental insurance plan and your medical insurance plan to see the coverages. Medical coverage is very rare and Medicare does not cover implant treatment. All in all, it is best to assume that there is no medical insurance coverage available.
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Dental Implant Placement Procedure

If replacing a failing tooth the implant procedure will begin with tooth extraction. Often a bone grafting procedure is utilized to refill the hole left by the extracted tooth. Before additional work can be completed the jaw will need several months of healing.

Once the healing is complete the jaw can be x-rayed and scanned. Doctor Bracken will use the scans to plan the surgery. Sophisticated computer planing of the implant surgery have transformed implant placement into a quick and easy outpatient procedure.

During the surgery, the jawbone will be drilled and threaded. A healing abutment is attached and another few months of healing will be needed before the crown is attached.

The Benefits of Permanent Restorations Utilizing Dental Implants

Implant Benefits

Restored self-esteem and renewed self-confidence. Our patients who now enjoy the benefits of their new implant supported replacement teeth talk openly about their restored self-esteem and self-confidence as a result of a younger appearance, ability to eat the foods they want, increased comfort, and improved overall health.

Improved appearance. Since implants preserve bone, preventing deterioration of the facial structures and appearance is improved. When all the natural teeth are severely compromised or missing, there is nothing left in the jawbone to stimulate bone growth, the body senses that the jawbone is no longer necessary and begins to dissolve it away. This results in facial collapse.

After about ten years, it often becomes difficult to wear a denture because there is little bone left to support it. This results in the lips folding in, and the lower face shriveling up (witches chin) with wrinkles around the mouth making you look like a much older looking person. With dental implants, the appearance of these wrinkles caused by posterior bite collapse, or complete facial structure collapse are virtually eliminated.

Remove the embarrassment factor. Implant supported replacement teeth never have to come out, not for daily cleaning, not for home care hygiene maintenance (brushing and flossing), nor even during a hospital visit or other medical exam. They are permanent. Just like your new smile.

The mouth is restored as closely as possible to its natural state. By replacing the entire tooth, including the root, it is possible to replicate the function of natural teeth, with a strong, stable foundation that allows comfortable biting and chewing. In addition, nothing in the mouth looks or feels artificial. Dental implants are the closest thing we have to our natural teeth.

Your smile is improved when replacement teeth look more like natural teeth. Even when only one tooth is missing, long term aesthetics are usually much better with an implant supported replacement tooth than with a traditional tooth supported bridge. This is particularly important in the front of your mouth, where preventing a visible bone defect is critical for natural appearance.

Healthy adjacent teeth are not destroyed to replace missing teeth. Tooth replacement with traditional tooth-supported bridges requires grinding down the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth, so that the bridge can be cemented onto them and into place. This tooth structure can never be replaced and the long-term health of these "prepared" teeth is compromised. Partial dentures have clasps that hook onto adjacent teeth, putting pressure on the adjacent teeth as the partial rocks back and forth. Eventually these teeth can loosen and fail as a result of this unnatural pressure. Replacing missing teeth with implant supported crowns/bridges does not involve the adjacent natural teeth, so they are not compromised, damaged or destroyed.

Overall quality of life is enhanced with replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. With implant supported replacement teeth, the appearance of the smile is more natural and the teeth function more like natural teeth. The result is increased comfort and confidence when smiling, speaking, and eating. If dentures and partials are replaced with implant supported teeth, the overall enhancement in quality of life is even more significant, with an ability to eat all types of foods, elimination of messy adhesives, and improved speech, comfort and appearance.

If removable dentures and partials are replaced with implant supported fixed bridges, the overall enhancement in quality of life is even more significant.

  • Your eating habits will improve
  • Messy and potentially toxic adhesives used to hold dentures in place are eliminated
  • Unsightly destructive metal clasps common with partial dentures, which tend to damage adjacent teeth and gums are now non-existent.

Failing teeth can cause other health issues. It is well documented that periodontal disease is a bacterially induced chronic infection and inflammatory disease that does not resolve by itself. Unchecked, inflammation and infection contributes to heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Dentists and cardiologists have long known that neglecting your teeth can lead to more than just a toothache. Scientific studies indicate there is a link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. It has been shown that improving poor oral health can actually improve your overall health.

Convenient oral hygiene. Caring for an implant supported crown is the same as caring for natural teeth; however, it is one of the most frequently overlooked ingredients in implant success. It is recommended that you request an appointment to have regular dental check-ups and get annual x-rays to make sure the surrounding bone is supporting the implant correctly and to discuss and questions or current concerns you may have. These periodic visits will help keep your replacement teeth healthy for many years to come.

Single Tooth Replacement with a Dental Implant

Do you have missing teeth? It is critically important to replace missing teeth. Eating and chewing with missing teeth can sabotage your bite and lead to incessant discomfort. Missing teeth can give rise to a mouth rearrangement that often results in facial changes that look decrepit.

A single tooth implant procedure may be done if a tooth has been extracted or is missing. A titanium implant base is placed into the jawbone to resemble the tooth root. We allow a period of time for the jawbone to heal over the implant base before fitting for a crown.

Next, an abutment is screwed into the base of the implant to allow for a crown to be fitted on top. Finally, a custom fabricated crown is placed over the abutment to function like a real tooth.

Multiple Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants

Multiple tooth implants may be placed if you need or desire to permanently replace an extracted or lost tooth. Titanium implant bases are placed into the jawbone to replace the job of the tooth roots. We allow a period of time to allow for the jawbone to heal over the bases before fitting for a crown. Next, abutments are screwed into the bases of the implants to allow crowns to be attached. Finally, custom fabricated crowns are placed over the abutments and will function like a real tooth.

Replacing All Teeth In The Upper and/or Lower Jaw

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