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Implants have been around for many years and have gained wider and wider acceptance over time as they have proved a successful method for replacing missing teeth. They offer a way to have artificial teeth that look natural and feel secure. The implant itself, often made of titanium, is used like an artificial root to support a false tooth or teeth.  A dental surgeon places the implant in a hole made in the jawbone.  Once the implant is secure, it becomes an artificial root and can be used to secure a prosthetic device, such as a crown or bridge, above the gum.  Implants can also be used in conjunction with a removable or a full denture to create a more secure and stable base for the denture.


Did you know…

that approximately 30 million people live with no natural teeth in one or both jaws? But more and more dental patients are opting for dental implants as a means of tooth replacement. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports that 3 million people currently have dental implants – a number that is rapidly growing by about 500,000 per year. Modern titanium implants were first developed in the 1950’s, but archeologists have determined that ancient Egyptians and Mayans were the first cultures to implant artificial teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why implants?

The CDA advises that, “Implants have some advantages over removable dentures. Because removable dentures are not permanently fixed in place, they can move around when the patient eats and speaks. Additionally, over time the bone that supports the denture changes and shrinks making it increasingly difficult to support a denture comfortably. Implants also have some advantages over fixed bridges, especially when the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth or teeth are healthy. In order to create a fixed bridge, Dr. Grupe must usually place crowns on these adjacent teeth- as they are the support for the replacement tooth or teeth. If these teeth are free form decay and existing restorations, you may prefer to leave them in their natural state, rather than alter them to hold the necessary supporting restorations. Implants replace the missing tooth or teeth while leaving all adjacent teeth unaltered.”

Are dental implants right for me?

You may qualify for dental implants if you have missing, broken or severely decayed teeth, that are unrestorable with a normal crown or bridge, and are in relatively good overall health. The only way of determining your eligibility for implants is to consult with an oral care provider to identify whether you have adequate bone support and healthy gums that will support the placement of one or more implants.

What should I expect if my dentist and I decide dental implants are right for me?

The placement of dental implants is a multi-step process that typically takes between 3 and 6 months to complete. It begins with a surgical procedure during which a titanium implant is placed where a previous natural tooth root once existed. The gums are sutured over the implant, where it will stay for several months while osseointegration begins fusing the implant with the surrounding bone. Due to the nature of implant placement, the average procedure time is between 1 and 2 hours, during which you will be comfortably sedated and/or anesthetized for the duration of the treatment. At the conclusion of the healing period, you will return to be fitted for permanent crowns and/or other dental prosthetics.

What type of post-treatment care will I require?

It is normal to experience some discomfort, which may include slight bruising and/or swelling following a dental implant procedure. However, inflammation and pain may be managed with over-the-counter medications, hydrocodone, or codeine. You may be asked to eat only soft foods for approximately 1-2 weeks until the surgical site heals.