Although dental implants have been widely available for over three decades, many patients are still unaware of the many benefits they offer. Dental implants are often the ideal treatment option for patients who are missing teeth. A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically embedded in your jawbone to replace a natural tooth root. A dental crown, bridge, or full-arch denture is then attached to the implant post to replace the entire structure of the missing tooth. Our practice uses advanced imaging techniques to plan your treatment and ensure your comfort and safety.
Replacing missing teeth with dental implants has many functional and aesthetic benefits. In addition to making your smile whole again, dental implants help prevent future bone loss by providing stimulation to the jawbone – just like a natural tooth root. Your implant will support a crown, bridge, or denture crafted from materials that have the appearance of natural teeth. Dr. Robert Ferrell has a wealth of experience and knowledge in implant dentistry, and you can expect the best possible care.
Dr. Ferrell will coordinate with your dentist to help you experience the maximum benefits of dental implants. After your implants are in place and your jaw has healed, a custom denture, crown, or bridge is attached. Dental implants can provide the ultimate support for dentures and other restorations. They allow your new smile to look natural and healthy, but also provide many functional purposes. Dental implants keep your restorations firmly in place, allowing you to enunciate clearly, as well as enjoy all of your favorite foods without hesitation. Implant-supported restorations are the closest alternative to your original teeth, allowing you to live life without feeling self-conscious as a result of missing or damaged teeth.
Technology has dramatically impacted dental implant success and simplicity. In the past, one of the challenges for implant dentistry was the time that was required for healing of the implant prior to placing of the final crown. Today, Dr. Ferrell can remove a broken or compromise tooth and place an immediate implant at the time of removal; thus, combining two surgical procedures into just one. The immediate placement of implants also significantly cuts down the healing time and maybe, most importantly, eliminates the need to have a removable temporary during the healing phase. In addition, to placing the implant immediately after tooth removal, Dr. Ferrell can also have a temporary crown placed on the implant within 24 hours. The procedure is the optimal cosmetic option and many patients cannot tell that they even had the tooth removed and replaced. Our office can provide this service over 80% of the time for a single missing tooth.
Dental implants are designed provide optimal replacement of a missing tooth so that the implant looks, feels and functions as a natural tooth. Implant placement is a highly cosmetic procedure and is completed with great care so that the final result is almost impossible to distinguish from a natural tooth.
When a person is mission two or more teeth, then multiple implants may be required. Dr. Ferrell will make sure that the fewest implants will be placed for the maximum result. Implants can be spread apart so that multiple teeth can be replaced with only a few implants. Traditional bridges on natural teeth provide a similar function; however, a natural tooth bridge can be a compromise because it removes a significant portion of the natural tooth, which weakens the tooth and could create a higher susceptibility for decay. Implant supported bridges do not have these compromises and allows us to replace several teeth with only a few implants.
TEETH IN A DAY requires between four to six implants and allows the denture to be permanently screwed into the implants. The denture is designed to be able to adequately clean under every day, but will also need to be removed once a year by your general dentist for a thorough cleaning. Most of the time, all of your teeth are removed and implants placed in one day. You would then leave the office with a complete set of teeth—never going without teeth or a traditional denture.
Another option is available, if patients would prefer fewer implants. Dr. Ferrell can replace two to four implants and create an “over-denture”. This is removable but anchors onto attachments that are connected to the implants. The over-denture literally snaps into place, allowing patients to have the great security in the denture remaining stable while functioning, speaking and laughing.
A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to render the tooth non-restorable. Another common reason for tooth removal is the result of active gum disease. Gum disease destroys the bone that supports the tooth and creates infection in the tissue and bone. Most extractions are straightforward and surprisingly simple. It is normal for people to return to their regular schedule the following day. We provide nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or sedation for those that would desire such services to aid in relaxation and comfort.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of bone loss in the oral cavity, although there are other reasons such as infections and facial trauma. The bone grafting procedure is an excellent way to replace lost bone tissue and encourage natural bone growth. Bone grafting is a versatile and predictable procedure. A bone graft may be required to create a stable base for dental implant placement, to halt the progression of gum disease or to make the smile appear more aesthetically pleasing. Dr. Ferrell provides a wide range of bone grafting procedures. All of your surgical needs can be completed in our office including removal of teeth, bone grafting (if necessary) and placement of implants.
Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.
There is a solution called a sinus graft or sinus lift graft. Dr. Ferrell enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and donor bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone. If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure.
The 3-D x-ray starts with a scan of the patient’s jawbone. The scan allows for the generation of a 3-D model of the jawbone that can then be used in virtual reality software to plan the implant placement without the presence of the patient. The scan is taken to evaluate the bone height and width prior to placing an implant. It will also show if there is need for bone grafting prior to implant placement. The results are more accurate implant placement and less chair time for the patient in our office.