Dental Implants

a mixed photograph of different people

Dental implants are changing the way people live.  They are literally the best thing that has happened to our patients over the last 30 years.  They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, the teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved.  Patients with dental implants can smile, laugh, and live with a renewed confidence.

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

What Are Dental Implants

Dental implants are the part of dentistry that will forever change your life.  The implants themselves are small titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These titanium anchors act as artificial roots. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.  Titanium is biocompatible with your body, meaning that your body is not going to see it as foreign.  This is one of the reasons why implants are so successful. 

graphics of teeth and dentures

Once the bone has integrated with the implant, a crown or denture can be placed on top of the implant.  Traditionally the integration process took 3-6 months.  However, with the advancements in dental implant technology this time has decreased.  If fact, we will often place a temporary crown/denture onto the implants the same day as the implants are placed. 

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Implants also help preserve facial structure, and prevent bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.  When teeth are lost, the bone starts to melt away in this area.  Over time, severe bone loss can occur resulting in both functional and esthetic problems.  Dental implants can help to preserve bone that otherwise would have been lost.  They are a wonderful way to restore youthfulness including the ability to smile and eat with confidence.  In some patients, they help to restore facial youthfulness that can be lost with age as one looses teeth. 

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The Surgical Procedure


Most of our patients find that placement of a dental implant is far easier than having a tooth extracted.  The procedure can be done with local anesthesia or intravenous sedation.  Dr. Hammond and his team will discuss your case with you including the available options for anesthesia before you receive any treatment. 

Many patients are concerned they will be without teeth during the healing process of dental implant treatment.  Nothing can be further from the truth!  We will be sure to coordinate a temporary restoration for you so you will leave with teeth during the healing process.

Surgical Advances

CT-guided dental implant surgery is very accurate and reduces surgical time, thus making the procedure more comfortable. It is the highest level of care available today in the field of dental implants.  Using three-dimensional (3-D) views of your jaw can help Dr. Hammond plan your surgery ahead of time using special software.  Custom surgical guides are made from this information which guide placement of the implant at the time of surgery.  Vital structures such as nerves, sinuses and adjacent teeth can be visualized through the use of the three-dimensional scan creating a much higher margin of safety and allowing for the procedure to be completed in a shorter time period.

CT-guided surgery will often times allow for the placement of dental implants followed by the placement of the teeth in the same day.  This is often called “Teeth in a Day.”  People can walk in with decayed and broken down teeth and then walk out with new beautiful implant retained teeth.

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dental implants Who actually performs the implant placement?

dr hammond

At Northwest Valley Oral Maxillofacial & Facial Cosmetic Surgery, your implant will be placed by Dr. Hammond , a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  In order for you to obtain the best result, your case will be a team effort between Dr. Hammond and your restorative dentist.  Since Dr. Hammond is a surgical specialist who has placed over 3000 implants, you are getting expert surgical care.  When the implant is restored, you will have the expert care of your restorative dentist.  Both doctors will be doing what they do best and as a result, you are receiving the highest level of care possible. 

dr hammond

How many teeth can be replaced by implants?

Dental implants can be utilized to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth depending on your needs.  Dr. Hammond and his surgical team will discuss all options that fit your particular situation.

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Before

After Removal of Teeth, Placement of Implants, & Placement of the Prosthesis on the Same Day

implant graphic and smiling couples

Where is the surgical procedure performed?

operatory room

Most implant surgery performed by Dr. Hammond can be done in his office surgical suite where operating room standards are followed with respect to sterility and procedure protocol.  For those patients that have a medical condition that require hospital type setting, the surgery can be completed at the hospital.

Why Dental Implants?

Once you learn about dental implants , you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.  Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.

Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?

a couple smiling Dental implants are the #1 solution for missing teeth.  With traditional restoration such as a bridge, the enamel on the adjacent teeth is cut off and these teeth are cut down to make enough room for a cap.

Over time the adjacent teeth may become compromised with leaking margins and recurrent decay and these teeth can also be lost.  So if you are replacing one tooth with a three unit bridge, two perfectly good teeth can be put at risk.  In essence, by doing a bridge instead of a dental implant, you are making a one tooth problem a three tooth problem.

missing tooth Sometimes partial dentures are utilized to replace missing teeth. These are removable dentures which replace one or several teeth. 

They are frequently uncomfortable and bothersome to the patient, and have been nick named “pocket partials” because they end up in the patient’s pocket instead of the mouth and many times are only utilized when a socially embarrassing situation is that hand.  Dental implants eliminate these embarrassing moments by giving you fixed teeth in your mouth that do not come out. They function and look like your own teeth! 

 When a patient is missing all of the teeth, they are frequently reconstructed with “traditional” dentures. 

dentures Traditional dentures reduce the ability to chew food by 75% in comparison to natural teeth.  They frequently will move around, and cause ulcerations and pain.  Also once the teeth have been removed, the problem is compounded by the loss of bone which requires that new dentures be made every 5-10 years.  Many people deal with loose dentures by using denture adhesives which is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States.  These adhesives are messy and most patients use them out of desperation.  All of these problems can be solved with implant supported dentures.  2-4 implants can be placed in the upper or lower jaw to secure a denture which results in significantly improved chewing ability and renewed confidence to smile and eat.

dentures Are You A Candidate For Implants?

a guy looking insecure

If you are missing teeth, you’re a candidate for dental implants.   Dr. Hammond will examine your mouth thoroughly and review your medical and dental history.  If your mouth is not ideal for implants, there are ways of improving the outcome.  Things such as bone grafting or zygomatic implants may be recommended.  If you’ve ever been told that you are not a good candidate for dental implants, come and see Dr. Hammond who has been extensively trained in the placement of dental implants with advanced bone loss. 

 

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Do Implants Need Special Care?

woman brushing teeth Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping continuing care appointment with your dentist.