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Dental Implants

What are dental implants?
Dental implants are precisely manufactured substitute tooth roots usually made from
titanium or its alloy resembling screws, which actually bond with the living bone structure of the jaw.
Dental Implants have been around for many years. Developed in the 60's they have evolved into the present day implant. 

  • Prosthetic crowns fastened with machined screws are placed on top of the implant to replicate the missing teeth.
  • Prosthetic options include single crowns (caps), bridgework or an implant retained overdenture.
Figure 1

An example of how an implant is used to replace a missing tooth. The implant actually only replaces the root of the tooth. A crown is then placed on the implant.
Figure 2

This model shows the versatility of dental implants. They can be used virtually anywhere in the mouth for the replacement of one or all of your teeth.

Are Dental Implants a good choice for me?
In all of these instances, dental implants can help:

  • A person missing a tooth, or teeth, can be an ideal candidate for implants, especially when your smile reveals missing teeth!
  • Also, if you are uncomfortable with the way your dentures fit.
  • Loose dentures are causing sore gums because of friction or food trapped under the bridgework.
  • Perhaps loose teeth from gum disease need support.
    Dental implants can give you a new base to support new teeth that function and feel like natural teeth.
When are dental implants best advised?
Especially in a visible area in front, or where a missing tooth may best be replaced with a supportive tooth required for a bridge.
  • Replacement of a single tooth.
  • Replacement of multiple teeth.
  • Replacement of the entire dental arch.
Are your dentures loose and your gums sore?
Without teeth, the jawbone looses mass over time. Without a solid base, loose dentures have a tendency to irritate the gums... causing pain and sores while trapping food under the denture.
  • Implants combined with clips or attachments can make them fit tight.
  • Refitting or replacing your dentures may work for a short while,
  • however this in not a long-term solution.
Will it hurt?
We administer gentle treatment of the bone by the surgeon to ensure successful treatments. Discomfort is held to a minimum, as your comfort and safety is our greatest concern!

Is it expensive?
Relatively speaking, for the long-term medical and aesthetic values, the cost is low. Your trip to Costa Rica will virtually be paid for by the very affordable treatment available here at the Dental Wellness Clinic.

Number of implants needed ?
Ideally one implant per missing tooth, but it depends on the type of bridge.

What if I am missing several teeth ?
Depending on your specific needs, your dentist could offer you diferent options like fixed, fixed-removable or removable bridges.

What if I have no teeth ?
According to the quality and volume of your bone you can have different types of theet:

  • FIXED - Removed periodically by your dentist.
  • REMOVABLE - Easy access for hygiene. The implants under it secure the bridge in place
  • FIXED REMOVABLE - Works like fixed with the easy access for hygiene.

I like my dentures, but they move ?
Implants can be used as retention for your existing dentures, eliminating movility and improving your chewing ability.

When should I start this treatment ?
As soon as you loose a tooth, otherwise the bone starts shrinking.

What if I have gum disease ?
It will need to be controled, and remove teeth with poor prognosis before placing the implants, improving your esthetics and function.

How long will they work ?
For life, as long as you maintain a healthy mouth, that is way we recomend periodic cleaning.

Are implants difficult to clean ?
No more difficult than your original teeth.

Will others know I have dental implants ?
Today's implant treatment enables you to have your new teeth look, feel and function like your own. Even though others will be unaware you have dental implants, many patients are so pleased they tell everyone they know.


How can implants be used to replace teeth?

This is an example of how our office uses a single tooth implant to replace a missing tooth. The biggest advantage of this type of treatment is that the adjacent teeth do not need to be cut down to support a bridge. Implant acts as the root of the tooth and when the final crown is placed, it gives you a fully functional replacement of your missing teeth. Single tooth implants can be placed anywhere in the mouth as far back as the 2nd molar region.

We can also place multiple implants and a bridge on top of the implants. The traditional alternative to this treatment, a removable partial denture, can be completely avoided. This treatment is perfect for the anterior or posterior portion of the mouth. The advantage over a partial denture is the implant bridge stays in the mouth and cannot be removed, just like your natural teeth. Also it does not cause unnecessary damage to the other teeth in the mouth the way a partial denture does.

If you are currently wearing dentures, implants can dramatically change your life. We can either eliminate your denture or give it an incredible amount of retention. The implant acts a root allowing the dentist to snap the denture onto the implants. To the left you can see a typical over denture. The bar is screwed into the implants. The denture has special clips processed into its base that snap on the bar. This gives you a denture that does not move in the mouth.

Dental implants are a remarkable discovery in dentistry. They allow us to predictably replace missing teeth in patients. Now people who have been wearing partials and dentures can get rid of these cumbersome items and have teeth that stay permanently in the mouth.

Even if your are missing a single tooth, implants can help you avoid cutting down healthy teeth to place a bridge.

Whether you are missing one or all of your teeth, implants can be used to give you back a natural and strong bite.

Dental implants are a miracle according to some of our patients.  Call our office to see how dental implants can benefit you.


I have cavities and missing teeth. Can I still have Implants placed?
 Before any Implants can be placed, the mouth must be free of any disease. Meaning that any cavities or periodontal disease must be taken care or prior to implant placement. Failure to do so can jeopardize the health and longevity of the implants. Once all disease is under control, Implant placement can proceed.

Who can have Dental Implants Placed?
Basically, anyone who is healthy enough to undergo minor surgery can be a candidate for dental implant surgery. The only people who are unfit to undergo implant surgery are uncontrolled diabetics and smokers. Almost all other medical conditions can be managed.

I smoke. Can I still have implants placed?
Smoking greatly reduces the integration rate of dental implants, meaning that the bone fails to grow into the implants. This can cause not only infection and loss of the implant, but can damage the bone so as to prevent future implant placement in case the patient ever decides to stop smoking.

What if my implant fails to integrate into the bone?  
Currently the success rate of dental implants is around 95-97%. Yes there is a small risk that the implant will fail to integrate, but we do everything in our office to ensure that the patient undergoes an uneventful surgery with successful implant placement and integration. If unsuccessful integration occurs, the area in the jawbone is cleaned out and allowed to heal and a new implant is placed a few weeks later.

Will my Dental Implant last forever?
That is an unfair question. Just as you have lost your natural teeth, there is a chance that you may lose your implant. However, currently there is a 95% success rate for implants after 10 years. This means that if 100 implants are placed in 100 patients, 95 will still have functioning implants after a decade. I lost my teeth to cavities and periodontal disease.

Now that I have Implants I never have to worry about going to the dentist again. Right?
Nothing could be further from the truth. Although it is true that the implant cannot decay like a natural tooth, It is still susceptible to infection that can destroy the supporting bone. Therefore it is imperative to get regular follow-ups and preventive care to make sure your implants have a long and healthy life.

What exactly is the procedure and how long does it take?
 There are several steps involved in the placement of a dental implant. They will be briefly outlined for you below. The first step is to do a complete and thorough exam on the patient. All appropriate records will be taken at this time. The doctor will then go through the records and determine if you are a candidate for dental implants and what type of final restoration is appropriate. The second step is the case presentation where the doctor will inform you of all treatment options and costs involved. At this time a surgery date will be scheduled. The day of the surgery, wear loose comfortable clothing. Arrive 1/2 hour early to that any last minute instructions can be given. You will be led into the surgical room and anesthetized. The Implant placement will last anywhere from 1/2 to 1 1/2hours depending on the complexity of the case. On a later date a second minor surgery is performed. At this appointment a small incision is made in the gum tissue to uncover the implant. Once the implant is exposed, an Abutment is placed on the implant. The abutment is the portion of the implant onto which the final crown is placed. After placement of the abutment, a temporary crown is placed on it. This allows the tissue to heal around the implant. After the tissue is healed, an impression is taken and sent to the lab for fabrication of the final crown. The crown is then cemented.

see: Dental Implant


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