Dental Implant Overview
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Dental implants 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 and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh, and enjoy life.
Dr. Steigerwald has received extensive training in Implantology. He has been successfully placing implants since 1988. Through continuing education, Dr. Steigerwald is abreast of the most current information on implant dentistry.
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If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your doctor will address your specific needs and considerations. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
We will also discuss fees and insurance at this time. There are many types of insurance plans, and coverage for implants is varied. We will be happy to assist you in obtaining any benefits to which you may be entitled.
Dental Implant Procedures
Dental implants are metal anchors that act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. Small posts are attached to the implant to provide stable anchors in the gums for replacement teeth.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. Healing time following surgery varies from person to person and is based on a variety of factors that include hardness of bone. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed.
For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final bridgework or denture that will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Steigerwald will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. After two weeks your general dentist will be able to start making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The teeth replacements are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.