Dr. Grant Jong Oral & Maxillofacial Dental Implants
Dental implants are surgical-grade root devices that support permanent tooth prosthetics that are manufactured to last a lifetime. These artificial roots are anchored in the bone beneath the gums where they become fused into the jaw. A crown is mounted atop the implant for a long-lasting and natural looking smile. Many dentists and patients prefer dental implants because they offer the same function as natural teeth and also help prevent bone atrophy in the jaw. Dental implants may be used to replace a single missing or damaged tooth or to restore an entire smile.
Did you know…
That approximately 30 million Americans live with no natural teeth in one or both jaws? But more and more dental patients are opting for dental implants as a means of tooth replacement. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports that 3 million Americans currently have dental implants – a number that is rapidly growing by about 500,000 per year. Modern titanium implants were first developed in the 1950’s, but archeologists have determined that ancient Egyptians and Mayans were the first cultures to implant artificial teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are dental implants right for me?
You may qualify for dental implants if you have missing, broken or severely decayed teeth and are in relatively good overall health. The only way of determining your eligibility for implants is to consult with Dr. Jong to identify whether you have adequate bone support and healthy gums that will support the new tooth structure.
What should I expect if my dentist and I decide dental implants are right for me?
The placement of dental implants is a multi-step process that typically takes between 6 and 9 months to complete. This is on a case by case plan. It begins with a surgical procedure during which a titanium rod is placed where a previous natural tooth root once was. The gums are sutured shut over the implant, where it will stay for several months while it heals and begins fusing with the surrounding bone. Due to the nature of implant placement and its average procedure time of between 1 and 2 hours, you’ll be sedated and/or anesthetized for the duration of the treatment. At the conclusion of the healing period, you’ll return to be fitted for the abutment, following a permanent crowns and have them placed by your general dentist.
What type of post-treatment care will I require?
It is normal to experience some discomfort, including bruising and swelling following a dental implant procedure. However, inflammation and pain may be managed with over-the-counter medications, hydrocodone, or codeine. You may be asked to eat only soft foods for approximately 2 weeks until the surgical site heals.
If you are missing, or need to remove all teeth in one or both jaws, implants may allow you to have a fixed full-arch bridge fabricated as well.
As an alternative to wearing a full denture (if there is adequate bone or bone augmentation procedures can be performed to grow sufficient bone) multiple implants can be placed across the jawbone to provide support for a fixed bridge. This procedure is similar to those described for single or multiple implants but requires careful diagnosis, planning and coordination before treatment begins. This attention to detail will ensure that an appropriate number of implants can safely be placed in positions that will allow your dentist to fabricate a bridge which will meet your needs and expectations.
The number of implants necessary for a full-arch fixed bridge varies depending on your particular anatomy, the opposing teeth, the type of bridge you want to have placed and the number of teeth you want or need to replace with the prosthesis. A full arch of implants can be placed when you are already missing all teeth in one of your jaws. If you have teeth remaining, they may need to be removed as a first step before implant surgery can proceed, or sometimes the teeth may be extracted and implants placed immediately after the teeth have been removed. If there are teeth remaining, you may be able to have a temporary fixed-bridge made by your dentist to help transition from your own teeth to implants. In this scenario (while the implants are healing), the temporary bridge stays in place which allows chewing, speaking and smiling – all without having to wear a removable denture. If it is not possible to retain enough teeth to support a fixed bridge while the implants are healing, then you may need to wear a removable denture temporarily.
Usually, you will be advised by your dentist to refrain from wearing the denture for a period of time (customarily two weeks) after the implants have been placed. This allows the gums to heal without being disturbed. In recent years, we have learned that it is often possible to place a full arch of implants and connect them to a fixed bridge (usually temporary) in what is known as immediate loading – which means the implants are receiving “load” from chewing forces as soon as they are placed.
This newer procedure is highly successful but there are certain requirements for its success. This technique requires careful planning and coordination by your dentist and Dr. Jong. A treatment plan will be discussed with you going over any and all of your options, as your dentist and Dr. Jong work together to get the best and most appropriate plan for you.