The loss of a tooth has both aesthetic and functional consequences. Dental implants are widely recognized as the optimal method of tooth replacement because they have the longest life span of any of the other tooth replacement options.
In general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime. For an implant to succeed, patients need to have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant in place.
A dental implant is a titanium post that has an internal screw that retains an abutment: this abutment allows a new porcelain crown to be fabricated onto the implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation that supports the dental implant and crown throughout the patient’s lifetime.
In preparing for a dental implant at Dr. Graber’s Rutherford Dental office, x-rays will need to be taken so that Dr. Steven Reff can check the shape and the thickness of the jawbone. These x-rays will also show the position of other structures in the mouth such as nerves and sinuses. This free consultation provides an opportunity to understand and ask questions about what will happen during the procedure. Risks and benefits will also be discussed.
In many cases, Dr. Reff surgically removes a tooth, and places a dental implant at the same time. Since a natural tooth is greater in diameter than an impact body, bone grafting material is placed around the implant to facilitate its integration with the patients jaw bone.
It takes four to six months for the implant to be integrated into the jawbone. When the implants has been integrated into the jaw bone, a second procedure is needed to uncover the gum over the implant. A healing cap is then placed. Once the gums are shaped around the healing cap, an abutment is screwed into the implant. This allows the future crown to be retained, thus restoring the function and structure of the lost tooth.