Dental implants as we know them today were invented in 1952 by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark. Today, they are considered the standard of care for replacement of missing teeth. They can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or all the teeth. The loss of a tooth has both aesthetic and functional consequences, and dental implants have the longest lifespan of any of the other tooth replacement options.
What exactly IS a dental implant? A surgical fixture that is placed into the jawbone and allowed to fuse with the bone over the span of a few months. The dental implant acts as a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. In turn, this “artificial tooth root” serves to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. The process of fusion between the dental implant and jawbone is called “osseointegration.” Most dental implants are made of titanium, which allows them to integrate with bone without being recognized as a foreign object in our body. The success rate for dental implants is 98%!
You’re probably thinking, “Well, what happens when I come to your office to get a dental implant then?”. Here’s how the process goes:
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.
Dental implants are Dr. Reff’s specialty so he has had plenty of practice! If you’re still feeling a little worried, Jesse, our hypo-allergenic therapy dog has been trained to help you through a visit (also SO adorable!!). We promise to make the experience painless.
Our Dentist Rutherford office is unique in that we do comprehensive dentistry in a painless and friendly environment. At our practice, the professional team of Rutherford dentists, dental assistants and our Insurance and Patient Coordinator can help you achieve that beautiful and healthy smile. You are not a number; we treat all of our patients as though they were part of our family. Using some of the latest technologies that Dentistry has to offer including laser procedures we will customize and prioritize your treatment in order to provide you with dentistry that meets your present and future needs.