Which tooth in the above photo is the implant? If you can’t tell, it means we did our job well! Implants are the most high tech way to replace a tooth. Implant-supported teeth are functional, beautiful, and highly successful. For this blog post, allow us here at Rogers Family Dental to tell you more about how implants might work for you!
1) What are implants?
Implants are a high tech replacement for teeth. They are man-made titanium or zirconium roots which can be placed where tooth roots used to be. Then, a new tooth crown can be connected to the implant. Titanium and zirconium are “biocompatible” which means they get along perfectly with the body and specifically with the bone in the jaw. Implants were invented in 1965 and have been widely used in the US for more than 25 years. In the last 15 years, they have become the mainstay for replacing missing teeth.
2) How well do implants work?
Since their invention in 1965, we now have over 30 years of scientific research which shows the incredible success rates of implants. Compared to teeth, implants have several advantages such as not being susceptible to cavities and being very strong and fracture resistant even under heavier loads then what some teeth can handle. The overall success rate of implants these days is around 98%, making it one of the most successful procedures in dentistry!
3) What can implants be used for?
Implants can be used to replace single teeth, multiple teeth, all teeth, or to help stabilize a loose denture. When teeth are extracted, the bone is normally lost because there is no signal from a tooth for the bone to stay. Implants signal the bone to remain, and therefore implants maintain the jaw bone over time. You might not realize how important this is until you see a denture wearer with their dentures out; when you see their sunken-in lips and face you are seeing what happens when we have jaw bone loss!
4) Do implants hurt?
Here at Rogers Family Dental, our dentists have restored hundreds of implants for residents of Greeneville and the Tri Cities. We can say with confidence that pain is very, very rarely a part of implant treatment. When teeth are extracted, discomfort is expected. With implants, though, there is such care taken in the careful placement of the implant to avoid any bone loss or trauma to the area, our patients tell us again and again how little pain they had after their implant placement! They are often how surprised how easy it can be. Just like any procedure, there are easier and more difficult implants to place, and we can give you a good idea of what to expect based upon a complete examination. We will make sure you are comfortable!
5) How long does the single implant process take?
This is definitely an “it depends” question, but typically the implant process takes 3-6 months. If the tooth we are replacing is a front tooth, often, the natural tooth can be extracted, the implant placed, and a temporary crown placed the same day, avoiding the need for wearing any type of removable temporary appliance. If the tooth has been lost for a long time or has significant infection, sometimes there is not enough bone initially for the implant and bone grafting is necessary. This can add time to the process.
6) How do you replace all the teeth with implants? Do I need one implant per tooth?
This is an area of implant dentistry that has rapidly changed in the last 10 years. Dr. Jon Rogers and Dr. Michael Rogers are both very involved in this type of treatment. We have gone from needing 10-12 implants to replace a whole upper or lower jaw of teeth to only needing 4-6 implants. In a situation where a patient has a mouth full of troubled/hopeless teeth, we can now extract all of the teeth, put in all of the implants, and connect a new set of temporary (but great looking) teeth all in ONE DAY! This is an area we plan on blogging more about in the future as no one else in our area offers this service.
7) Why doesn’t my dentist do implants? Why haven’t I heard about implants?
This is a tough question. Implants are currently the standard of care for replacing missing teeth in most situations. There are situations where other options can be successful and we still use and offer other options to replace missing teeth such as bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures. None of the options is always the best, but there are certainly many situations where implants are the only good option. Did you know that nationally, only 10% of dentists have taken a continuing education course on implants despite the fact that they are the standard of care for many situations? We think that is scary! Our doctors are committed to staying current and have taken literally hundreds of hours of implant continuing education including going all over the USA and the world to implant courses to make sure that we are doing world class implant dentistry right here in Greeneville, TN. We also belong to two different implant study clubs in the Tri Cities and Knoxville. You can be assured that you are going to get the very best in implant treatment.
If you or someone you know has questions about implants or wants to know if they are a candidate for implant treatment, call our office today for an appointment! We would love to help you to regain the confidence you need to eat and smile the way you deserve!