What Are Dental Implants?
A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium — the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.
Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases, a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Beall is able to place single-stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before restorations are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction — further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between a qualified oral surgeon and a restorative dentist. Dr. Beall can all perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. Our restorative dentist, Dr. Beall, fit and make the permanent prosthesis; he will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.