What are Dental Implants?

A question we get here at Rigby Advanced Dental is, “What are dental implants?” and “How do they work?”.  Luckily, Dr Rigby is chalk full of great information, experience and loves to talk and teach about dental implants.  Dr Rigby can often be heard telling implant candidates, “There is no better way to restore your smile and fulfill your expectations with treatment……..implants are AWESOME!”  If you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from tooth loss, you know what a disconcerting problem it can be. Thankfully, whether you are missing a single tooth or several, dental implants may be an option for flawlessly natural-looking tooth replacement.

Here is a brief description of dental implant therapy:

  • A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder surgically placed into the jawbone in the same area where the root of a natural tooth has been lost.
  • Over a short period of time (approx 3-4 months), bone integrates into the grooves of the titanium implant, making it strong enough to support a porcelain restoration that is a perfect aesthetic match for a natural tooth.
  • Implants may be used to replace a single missing tooth.
  • Multiple implants can be used to support a bridge.
  • In some cases, dental implants may also be used to securely anchor a full arch denture.
Different types of dental implants that are used to support dental crowns and prostheses

Because they function like natural teeth, many patients who once suffered the embarrassment and discomfort of tooth loss are able to regain their confidence with dental implants.

Who is a candidate to receive dental implants?

  • In order to place a dental implant, there must be adequate bone support as well as healthy surrounding tissues…….Dr Rigby says, “Bone is King!” when it comes to adequate alveolar (jaw bone) support.
  • Candidates must be committed to excellent oral hygiene in order to ensure long-term success of the prosthetic, and if necessary a change of a daily habit.
  • Placement of the implant is a surgical procedure, so it is important that implant patients are in good physical health.  Acurratly reporting of your medical history and medications taken or prescribed is a necessity to avoid any underlying complications.
  • There are very few circumstances when dental implant therapy is contradicted.  Some patients may need extra precaution, but usually find success.
  • Each patient seeking care is evaluated by Dr. Rigby, a Prosthodontist, who is specialty trained to ensure our best efforts are being made to make the implant placement a success.

What if there isn’t adequate jawbone to support the implant?

  • In some cases bone replacement grafts can be performed to build up the height of the jaw to support an implant. Doing so adds time to the implant process, cost, and may not be an option for everyone.
The dental Implant in the bone supports the overlying abutment and crown.

How long is the implant process from start to finish?

  • Again, each case is different, and there is no hard-and-fast rule to determine the duration. It can take several months and multiple visits to ensure the best end result! In most cases, Dr. Rigby and his expert staff are able to offer temporary tooth replacement options during this time, so there is no reason to fear being toothless for several months!
  • If the situation is right, some individuals are able to have the implant(s) placed and immediately restored with a temporary crown or prosthesis the same day.  Dr Rigby will be happy to discuss this option and provide more information on immediate placement and restoration.

What will my dental implant feel like?

  • Your dental implant should function like a natural tooth.
  • It can be brushed, flossed, and chewed on like any natural tooth in your mouth.
  • One of the most attractive features of dental implants is how indistinguishable they are from natural teeth, in function as well as appearance!

When can I get started?

  • Contact your friendly, local implant specialist today to schedule an appointment!

Dental implants are truly a wonderful option for patients that desire the look and function of natural teeth.  Don’t hesitate to call Rigby Advanced Dental (512) 992-2822 with questions.

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