Dental Implants: A Long-Term Solution to Missing Teeth

The Importance of Dental Implants

We believe that oral health impacts overall health.

Missing teeth can lead to various health problems. You’ll notice your jawbone deteriorates, your self-esteem suffers, and so does your diet, which negatively affects the health of your entire body. Dental implants look, feel, and function just like natural teeth and are widely recognized as the best replacement method.

The Miracle of Osseointegration: How Dental Implants Work

Our bodies are truly amazing – their ability to coexist with various native and foreign materials means that our treatment options, as oral surgeons, are constantly expanding. “Osseointegration” refers to the fusing of bone with artificial material. Its origins date back to the 1940s and 50s when Swedish physician Per-Ingvar Branemark discovered that titanium fuses so well with bone that it is nearly impossible to remove! Since then, the biocompatibility of titanium has proven itself to be amazingly reliable over and over again.

What Is A Dental Implant?

A completed implant includes three pieces: the implant itself (a titanium screw that is placed in the jawbone), the abutment (a connector between the implant and crown), and the crown (the part that is visible and looks like a tooth).

Dr. Bell, Dr. Smith, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Bunnell will place the implant and the abutment, and the crown will be completed by your general dentist.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Your jawbone is much like a muscle in that it must be stimulated regularly to maintain its volume. Therefore, when a tooth is extracted or falls out naturally, the jawbone begins to deteriorate almost immediately.  Studies show that within a year of tooth loss, there is a 25% decrease in bone width. Dental implants can take the place of natural teeth to provide the stimulus needed by the jaw. If done early, this greatly reduces the need for bone grafting down the road. Dental implants do more than replace teeth and gums, they restore the structure. 

A depiction of the upper jaw with all normal teeth
1. Normal
An example of the upper jaw missing a tooth with the jaw bone unhealed
2. Tooth Loss
A representation of a healed upper jaw bone after losing a tooth
3. Healed Bone
A digital representation of the initial dental implant placed in the jaw bone
4. Implant Placed
A representation of the healed jaw bone after placement of the dental implant
5. Healing
An example of a fully restored tooth using a dental implant
6. Implant Restored

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

While the upfront cost is often more than alternatives such as bridges and dentures, dental implants outlast those approaches by several decades. This increased longevity makes implants the more affordable choice in the long run. For further information, visit our dental implants cost page.

The Process of A Dental Implant

  1. Consultation and Treatment Plan: During the initial phase of the dental implant process, imaging is gathered along with your medical and dental histories to give us a clear picture of your current health. We will then explore your treatment options with you to formulate a plan that ensures that both your health goals and budgetary needs are met.
  2. Extraction: The next step is to have the tooth in question extracted. In some cases, we may be able to place the implant simultaneously with the extraction. In others, bone grafting will be required before The implant placement.
  3. Bone Grafting: It is common for the jawbone to lack the mass needed to accept an implant. In this case, a bone graft will be performed first to strengthen the target area. Bone grafting is typically followed by several months of healing before the implant can be placed.
  4. Dental Implant Surgery: During the implant procedure itself, a titanium screw is inserted into your jawbone. You will be anesthetized for comfort during the surgery, which takes about 1-2 hours.
  5. Osseointegration: After placing the implant, we cover it with the surrounding soft tissue and let it settle for 3 months to fuse with the bone.
  6. Final Restoration: After osseointegration is complete, an abutment is placed on the implant to connect with the final crown restoration. Typically, the final restoration is done by a general dentist.

Dental Implants Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.

Dental Implants Presentation

For more information, please visit our dental implant FAQs page.

At Central Valley Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Institute, we are proud to offer a safe, comfortable, and affordable dental implant experience to our patients with the help of cutting-edge technology and the utilization of the latest techniques.