Dental Implants

The best way to replace missing teeth is with dental implants.

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Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The implants themselves are titanium or titanium/zirconia posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes.

The bone bonds with the implant, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. At an appropriate time a small post (abutment) is placed that protrudes through the gum. This enables crowns, bridges, or dentures to be attached to the implants. Dental implants help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.

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Computer-Guided Implant Placement

Computer-guided dental implant surgery enables Dr. Blansett to place implants in a more precise and less invasive procedure.

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Single or Multiple Teeth Replacement

In general, the best way to replace missing teeth, whether single or multiple teeth, is with dental implants.

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Denture Support

Dr. Blansett can attach a removable denture onto implants using computer-guided placement, preserving the bony foundation and restoring more natural chewing ability.

Computer-Guided Implant Placement

Computer-guided dental implant surgery enables Dr. Blansett to place implants in a more precise and less invasive procedure.

Thanks to the advancement of computer-guided dental implant surgery, dental implants are a viable option for a wider range of patients who are missing one or more teeth. We combine the use of cone beam computerized tomography (CBCT Scans) with specialized dental computer software to plan each implant case.  This allows each implant to be preplanned and simplifies the surgical procedure to ensure a good result.

Computer guided placement ensures that each implant will be in the best possible position to support a crown, bridge or removable appliance. It provides maximum safety to avoid nerves, sinuses, and other vital structures, and it maximizes accuracy in implant placement within the bone. When implant placement procedures are precisely guided by a computer, this often results in less pain, swelling, bruising, and discomfort following surgery. These procedures also frequently require smaller incisions, which results in a speedier healing process after surgery.

Single or Multiple Teeth Replacement

In general, the best way to replace missing teeth is with dental implants. These root-shaped devices allow your bone to fuse with their surface. The resulting bond allows strong tooth replacements (crowns, bridges, dentures, etc.) to be attached to the implant. You can have single or multiple teeth replaced in this way.

When you have one tooth missing, a single implant is inserted into the bone to replace the root part of that tooth; a crown then goes on top to simulate an actual tooth. This treatment choice has the highest success rate, making it the best long-term investment for replacing a single missing tooth.

When you have more than one tooth missing, implants provide an ideal replacement mechanism. You don’t even need an implant for each missing tooth. Instead, implant teeth can act as supports for fixed bridgework. For example, if you are missing three teeth in a row, we can place two implants, one on either side of the gap, and a crown in between that has no implant underneath.

Denture Support

Implants can make removable dentures more comfortable, effective, and healthier to wear. Traditional dentures rest on the gums and put pressure on the underlying bone. This accelerates bone loss, so that the jaw shrinks and the dentures slip, particularly on the bottom.

Dr. Blansett can attach a removable denture onto implants using computer-guided placement. This allows the implants to support the pressure from chewing vs. the bone, and preserves the bony foundation and restores more natural chewing ability.  This also prevents the dentures from slipping while you eat and speak.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all implants need a provisional (temporary) crown?

In general no, but implants placed in the aesthetic zone (front teeth / smile teeth) are much easier to restore and give a good result than those that are not temporized. The role of the temporary crown is to shape the gum tissue so your dentist and dental lab do not have to guess what shape or size the implant crown needs to be. This ideally is taken care of before the final crown is delivered, and is recommended for all implants that replace the front teeth.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

Almost anyone who is missing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth are candidates for dental implants. Talk to Dr. Blansett for your specific needs.

Do your implant fees include the costs for the crown?

No, dental implants have three main components:  the implant itself that is made of titanium and anchored into the bone surgically, the prosthetic abutment that attaches to the implant and supports the crown, and the implant crown, that attaches to the abutment and fills the missing space in the mouth with a tooth. Your dentist will typically provide the prosthetic abutment and implant crown at their office for an additional / separate fee. It is important to get an estimate from your referring dentist’s office of the costs to restore the implant to be sure you have an idea of the total costs involved.

How long does it take for a dental implant to have a crown placed on it? I have heard of teeth in a day, do you offer this here?

From start to finish, dental implants are usually ready to be restored in 6 months. It takes 3 months for the site to heal after the affected tooth was removed and socket grafted. Once this is complete, an implant is placed that then takes an additional 2-3 months to heal for a total of 5-6 months. Sometimes implants can be placed the same day the tooth is removed, and if possible this saves 2-3 months of healing time.

The ‘teeth in day’ concept involves removal of all teeth in either the upper or lower jaw, placement of 4 or more implants, and attachment of a temporary bridge to all of the implants. We do offer this procedure at our office, but for most patients requiring an implant to replace 1 or 2 teeth, it is not recommended or indicated.

I have heard of other offices not using surgical guides to place their implants, do all implants need a surgical guide?

YES! One of the most important factors for the long-term success of a dental implant is that is in the proper 3-dimensional position. Implants that are ‘eye-balled in’ typically have more problems and trap plaque more easily than implants that are placed with a surgical guide (either a rigid guide or dynamic guide will be planned). Surgical guides take the guesswork out of the implant process and allow Dr. Blansett to give you the best result possible with the least amount of trauma. 

I am missing all of my teeth, how many implants do I need to replace my chewing function?

In general, a minimum of 4 implants per arch is recommended to restore adequate chewing function.  This is all driven by each patient’s circumstances, expectations, and anatomy.  Often, 2 implants can be placed to anchor a denture on the lower jaw, but the stability will not be ideal.  Dr. Blansett typically thinks of these like a table…a 2 legged table is not very stable, 3 legs are better than 2, 4 are better than 3.  The wider apart the legs of the table are, the more stable it is (bar stoof vs. long dining room table).  Therefore, the farther apart the implants in the front of the jaw are from the implants in the back of the jaw, the better support your restoration will have.  Sometimes, bone grafting or sinus grafting procedures are needed to buildup the bone in these areas prior to implant placement.  Each patient receives an individualized workup and will receive multiple options based off their existing anatomy and expectations prior to any surgical care being provided.

Are dental implants safe?

Dental implants have been used for half a century, and are considered safe and effective. Choosing a knowledgeable, well-trained implant dentist will help minimize complications and ensure skillful handling of any problems, should they arise. It is important that you and Dr. Blansett review your health history and any habits which could affect the success of your recommended care, such as smoking, so that you are fully informed about the benefits and risks involved.

Will implants last the rest of my life?

In general, no, but it depends. The patient age at the time of insertion of the implants as well as their overall health and risk factors (smoking, auto-immune disease, vitamin d deficiency, etc) often impact long-term success rates. We can reasonably expect, with good hygiene and maintenance care, a dental implant to last 15-20+ years. In the past, it was common practice for implant providers to tell patients that implants were a permanent solution for a missing tooth. Now that implants have been around for 30+ years, we know now that implants can have problems after they are placed and are in function. The most common issue is bone loss around the implant, called peri-implantitis. This can be caused by multiple factors (traumatic bite relationship, inability to keep the implant crown clean, systemic diseases/factors) that need to be managed as carefully as possible after the implants are placed.

Dr. Blansett recommends for all of his implant cases to be checked at least once a year to ensure the bite is stable, the gum tissue around the implant is healthy, and there is no sign of bone loss. Lack of maintenance care is a big risk factor for future problems with implants. If you notice the sudden onset of bleeding or pain at an implant site, please do not hesitate to let our office or your dentist’s office know to have your implant evaluated for any problems early rather than waiting too late.  

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