Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
Dr. Haussermann refers all extraction and implant cases to either an Oral Surgeon or a Periodontist. The Oral Surgeon or Periodontist will take X-rays and impressions (molds) of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, if the tooth is still present, it will be extracted, then the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for three to six months. Some cases the extraction and implant placement can occur in one appointment. Sometimes though, separate appointments are necessary.
During the time of healing and bone integration with the implant, there is a gap where the artificial tooth will eventually be. Dr. Haussermann's office offers a couple of options to wear a temporary appliance during that time. Usually the temporary appliance is recommended for cases when the tooth being replaced shows directly when you smile. Both temporary appliance options are a retainer like appliance. One option is a flipper: it is a retainer that rests up near your palate (roof of your mouth) and has the tooth or teeth attached to it hanging in the space of the missing tooth. The second option is an Essex: this is a clear retainer (similar to a sports mouth guard) that has the tooth or teeth being replaced inside the appropriate space. Please ask to see the examples of both of the temporary appliances.
After several weeks, usually months, of healing (and wearing the temporary appliance, if applicable), and clearance from the Oral Surgeon or Periodontist, the artificial tooth or teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor by Dr. Haussermann. This step is completed in two appointments, three weeks apart at Dr. Haussermann's office. During the first appointment at Dr. Haussermann's, multiple impressions are taken and a shade of the artificial tooth or teeth is chosen. Three weeks later, the artificial tooth or teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.