Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours have been preserved. The dental implants themselves are tiny titanium screws that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone fuses with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.
In addition, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the inevitable and relentless bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing. Dental implants are truly changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history.
During these consultation visits, Dr. Bye will address your specific needs and considerations. Your questions and concerns are important to us and we will work with you very closely to ensure a successful outcome.
Dental implants act as tooth root replacements. After they are placed into the jawbone, different components can be attached to the implant to provide stable anchors for replacement teeth and/or support dentures .
In some cases, additional related procedures may need to be performed to allow placement of dental implants . These include, but are not limited to: ridge preservation , ridge augmentation/bone grafts , sinus grafts , block grafts , soft tissue grafts , and platelet rich plasma (PRP) .
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves one surgical procedure. First, implants are placed within your jawbone.
Healing time following implant placement varies from person to person, based on a variety of factors that include the hardness of the bone. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed.
After the implant has osseointegrated, the second phase begins. If the implant was covered up at the first stage, then the dental implant is uncovered and a small healing collar is attached. This second procedure is called Stage Two.
Dental Implant Overview
For a brief narrated overview of the dental implant process, please click the image below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about dental implants.
Tooth loss causes the jawbone to recede and can lead to unnatural looking indentations in your gums and jaw, and an appearance of a general aging. The original look of your mouth may not be recaptured because of spaces remaining under and between replacement teeth and cause them to appear too long compared to nearby teeth.
Bone grafting at the time of tooth extraction preserves the remaining jawbone, and minimizes shrinkage of the gum tissue. This provides for a more esthetic tooth replacement for either an implant crown or a fixed bridge.
Ridge Augmentation/Bone Grafts
Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is resorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor bone quality and quantity and the bone becomes unsuitable for placement of dental implants . In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants, unless preliminary bone grafting is done.
Today, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. This not only gives Dr. Bye the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore excellent functionality and esthetics.
Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease, resorption, congenital defects or injuries. The bone is either obtained from a tissue bank or your own bone is taken from the jaw. Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the back portions of the upper jaw.
In addition, special membranes may be utilized that resorb slowly and protect the bone graft to encourage bone regeneration. This is called guided bone regeneration or GBR.
Bone Grafting Overview
For a brief narrated overview of the bone grafting process, please click the image below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about bone grafting.
These surgeries are performed in the office. After the procedure, bed rest is recommended for one day. Specific instructions will be given for your individual situation.
The maxillary sinuses are empty spaces behind your cheeks and on top of the upper back teeth. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, the sinus drops down or pneumatizes; reduces bone support for future implants. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. Once the sinus pneumatizes, it becomes impossible to place dental implants .
Your dental implant surgeon ( Dr. Bye ) can perform a Sinus Graft to put the floor of the sinus back where it was before you lost your teeth. Dr. Bye gently lifts sinus membrane upward and bone is placed into the space. After several months of healing, the bone graft completely heals and dental implants can be placed and stabilized in this new sinus bone.
The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option other than wearing loose dentures.
Occasionally, when there is enough bone to stabilize the implant, sinus grafts and implant placement can be performed as a simultaneous procedure.