What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are long-term replacements that your doctor surgically places in the jaw bone.  A dental implant is a bio-compatible metal cylinder that is placed into the jaw bone to function as a prosthetic tooth ‘root’.  The goal is to achieve osseointegration, which occurs when the dental implant is integrated into the alveolar bone.  This provides a foundation for a prosthetic replacement for one or more missing teeth. If properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime.

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.

How successful are dental implants?

This is a very important question.  We feel strongly that the public should understand everything there is to know about implants. Implants placed by most periodontists and dental surgeons today have a high degree of success.  In fact, they are close to 95% successful.  This percentage may vary slightly from surgeon to surgeon and among implant types, but as a rule, titanium implant dental fixtures are predictably successful.  However, it is important to remember that implants placed in patients who are smokers or who have active periodontal disease have showed a great rate of failure.

Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.

During your initial consultation, Dr. Goggin will evaluate your unique situation through a full, comprehensive exam to determine what grafting or modification procedures are required.  She will review options for your care and share her findings with your general dentist to support your overall treatment plan.  Schedule an initial consultation.

Why do people need implants?

While children lose baby teeth as a natural part of the developmental process, as an adult, the only teeth we can afford to be without are third molars, or wisdom teeth.  Each of the remaining permanent teeth serve a vital purpose to the chewing and digestive processes; when a tooth is lost, bite function is compromised.

Teeth are designed to move – they erupt when we are young and they continue to shift as we age  Open space that occurs when a tooth is lost causes unnatural tooth movement that is detrimental to the bite. Neighboring teeth with shift and move into the open space, and the tooth in the opposing arch with “supra-erupt” because it does not encounter any resistance when the teeth come together.  This causes a domino effect as the teeth come together unnaturally and can lead to tooth fractures, periodontal disease and even further tooth loss.

If a tooth must be extracted, it is usually recommended that it be replaced with a dental prosthetic (implant, bridge, or denture) to avoid breakdown of the bite. A “false” tooth replacement can be customized to work with the remaining teeth to restore proper function and help maintain the position of the existing natural teeth.

The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good dental and physical health.  To encourage integration, the mouth should be disease-free, with the proper amount of bone to support the implant and healthy gum tissue.