Dental implants are the closest you can get to healthy, natural teeth. They will allow you to confidently eat, smile, laugh, talk, play and enjoy all of your regular activities of everyday life without worrying about your teeth. To learn if dental implants are your best choice, Dr. Keller will do a thorough exam, and also refer you to an oral surgeon. The surgeon will do the extraction, any needed grafting, and implant placement. Dr. Keller will build the new tooth, teeth, or denture on top of the implants.
A dental implant is a cylindrical and/or tapered post, usually made of titanium, that serves as a substitute for the tooth root. Dental implants are often the best treatment for missing teeth, whether a single tooth, several teeth, or to anchor a complete or partial denture.
There are three steps after the initial diagnosis and treatment planning visits with Dr. Keller and a separate oral surgeon:
- First Surgical Visit: When a damaged or decayed tooth is removed, both the visible part of the tooth, called the crown, and the root are lost. Sometimes, bone grafting is needed to build up a good foundation to hold the implant.
- Second Surgical Visit: Usually at a separate visit 3-6 months after the extraction/graft, the surgeon places the dental implant in the jawbone, where it fuses with your natural bone and becomes a strong and sturdy foundation for replacement teeth. Implants can be used to replace an individual tooth or for an implant-supported bridge or denture containing multiple teeth.
- Restorative Visits: After the implant has integrated into the bone for 3-6 months, the surgeon will give Dr. Keller the go-ahead to build the new tooth, teeth, or denture on top of the implants.