Implants are bio friendly “screws” that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are placed painlessly by reflecting a small amount of gum tissue back so that a small hole may be made into the jaw bone. A sterile implant screw is then placed into the small hole and a healing cap is placed on top of the screw. To insure that the implant has successfully integrated into the bone, a healing period of 3 months must lapse to insure that the implant is stable and solidly attached into the bone. A crown, bridge, or denture attachment may then be placed on top of the implant by Dr. Kutz or Dr. Tills at that time.
Implants are usually the best option for replacing missing teeth if the neighboring teeth are perfectly healthy! A bridge may be a better option to replace missing teeth if the neighboring teeth have significant wear, older dental fillings, or decay. The idea is to keep your existing teeth healthy and untouched whenever possible!
Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant. For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density and have a strong immune system. Diabetics and people with chronic bruxism (teeth clenching) are generally not favorable candidates. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene. While nothing in life is totally foolproof, good candidates who have dental implants can expect high success rates with the procedure. In some cases implants do fail, but Dr. Kutz and Dr. Tills will monitor your implant closely to help insure success.
Implants may also be used to replace a series of teeth. In this case, a fixed bridge can be cemented onto the top of the implants. Implants can be used to hold dentures in place better as well. In patients who don’t have a lot of bone for a denture to “grab” onto and stay in place, Dr. Kutz or Dr. Tills may recommend implants designed with special attachments to “lock” down a denture.