Dental implants are replacement, or substitute tooth roots, used to replace natural tooth roots. Dental implants are a component that integrate into the bone tissue of the jaw and support a prosthetic crown. With the placement of dental implants that look, feel and function like natural teeth, your overall quality of life is enhanced.
When a tooth is lost, the bone that previously supported it melts away and deteriorates in a process known as bone resorption. This loss of bone tissue can alter the integrity of our facial structures, ultimately changing our appearance, compromise the adjacent or opposing teeth, and reduce our ability to maintain a healthy diet and proper digestion.
Nearly everyone who is missing one or more teeth and is in general good health is a candidate for dental implant treatment. The first step in investigating if you are a candidate for dental implants is an examination and consultation with Dr. Fritz or Dr. Schuldt. Prior to placing the implants, a CBCT image of the area will be acquired to visualize the underlying bone structure in micrometer resolution in all 3-dimensions.
Implants are placed using a standard surgical technique that Dr. Fritz has performed over 9,000 times with a 98% success rate. Dr. Schuldt has been planning and restoring complex implant treatment since 2006.
Like all things, there are varying levels of quality implant systems. Dr. Fritz and Dr. Schuldt work with three implant systems: Nobel BioCare, Straumann, and Astra Tech, each with a remarkable reputation for high-quality.
A strong integration between the bone of the jaw and the implant must be established before a prosthetic crown can be placed on the implant. Therefore, an appropriate healing period determined based on the quantity and quality of the bone, diabetic status, smoking status, and other systemic factors is prescribed by Dr. Fritz or Dr. Schuldt following placement.
Following the appropriate healing period, a small connector/extension called an abutment can be attached to each implant and the permanent replacement teeth will eventually be attached to this abutment.
Our office works very closely with your general dentist (or prosthetic specialist) to place the most appropriate implant and permanent crown for your individual situation.
Just like natural tooth roots, it is vital to care for your dental implants. Our office specializes in the care of dental implants and will teach you all of the necessary oral hygiene care in order to protect your implants from the same bacterial infection that causes periodontal disease.
Combined with proper home care, a minimum of twice yearly visits to your regular dentist for regular maintenance as well as a visit with our clinical team at least once 3-4 months after the crown has been placed is essential for the long-term success of your dental implant.
This is a great question that we get asked all of the time and the answer is… it depends.
Just like normal teeth, dental implants need to be cared for and maintained to keep the surrounding tissues healthy and supportive.
With proper maintenance and care, dental implants are designed to be permanent root replacements and can last over 25 years.
While snapping our fingers for a solution would be nice, Mother Nature doesn’t work like that.
A dental implant takes time to integrate into the jaw bone to create a sturdy base that will last a lifetime (with proper maintenance of course).
On average, a dental implant should be given 8-12 weeks to fully integrate with the bone before any load (i.e., a dental crown, bridge, or denture) is applied to it.
Visit our blog ‘Dental Implants 101’ for a full description and timeline of the process of receiving a dental implant.
Yes, of course!
Many patients wear what’s affectionately known as a ‘flipper’, a temporary retainer with a tooth, while they wait for their permanent dental implant and crown.
A flipper is fabricated by your general dentist specifically for you.