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Implants are fast becoming a standard of care in dentistry today. They offer a secure permanent solution for replacing one or more teeth. Dental implants are an established and time tested procedure with survival rates of over 95%.
At Mona Lisa Dental we place Nobel Biocare implants and utilize Nobel Guide software in conjunction with CT scans to plan your implant placement on the computer. With the Nobel Guide software Teeth in an Hour™ treatment is possible.
Dental implants are titanium rods which are placed in the jawbone and serve as an anchor for crowns, bridges or dentures. Patients who have had an implant placed most always choose another implant when given the choice. When replacing a single tooth the advantage gained by placing an implant is that there is no longer a need to cut away normal tooth structure of the teeth next to the implant site for a bridge. They are natural looking and feel and function like real teeth. Patients who have dentures supported by implants are able to eat and chew without pain or irritation and with the added support of implants they can now eat foods that they were unable to eat with dentures. In certain cases the dentures can be trimmed back exposing more of the roof of the mouth which can improve the taste of food. Whether replacing a single tooth, multiple teeth or dentures, implants act like real tooth roots maintaining your bone structure which in turns supports your facial tissues. Implants also have the advantage of not being affected by decay because they are made of titanium. Although implants have a higher upfront cost their longevity and high patient satisfaction reduce costs in the long term.
Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or even a whole set of teeth. For a single missing tooth only one implant is needed. If a few teeth are missing two or three implants are usually enough. When all teeth are missing four to six implants are usually needed. The exact number needed will be determined by your circumstances. We also evaluate the amount of bone that exist at the site where the implant is needed. If there is not enough bone, or if it is not shaped correctly or not healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first. When bone is grafted into the implant site we usually wait 3-4 months before placing the implant into that site. Once implants have been placed there are instances when it can be restored immediately and sometimes longer healing periods are needed from 2 – 6 months. It is best not to rush the healing period because healthy implants will last for years.
The main reasons implants fail are smoking and people with systemic conditions which affect healing. People who smoke should realize that they have the highest rate of implant failures. We will review your medical history and risk factors and discuss these issues as they pertain to you.
Patients often ask if getting implants hurt? Usually, discomfort is not a problem. In fact, many have said that having a tooth pulled was more painful. Implants are usually placed in the dental office and is similar to having other dental work done. Your dentist will make sure that you are numb and comfortable during the procedure. When you leave the office, you will be given appropriate medications to insure a comfortable post operative experience.