A dental implant is a titanium screw-shaped artificial tooth root replacement. An implant crown (artificial tooth) is then attached to the dental implant (artificial root).
The dental implant procedure is a two-step process, separated by healing time (usually a minimum of 3 months):
- Dental implant surgery: Dr. Sulzbach refers his patients to highly skilled and experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons or periodontists. Implants are surgically placed in the patient’s jawbone, usually while the patient is under local anesthesia. Anxious patients may ask to have surgery done while under sedation or general anesthesia. After an implant is set into place, the gums are closed with stitches. It will take three months or longer for complete healing.
- Implant restoration: After the dental implant placement site is fully healed, the implant is ready to be uncovered for placement of an abutment. After fitting the right abutment, Dr. Sulzbach will make an impression (almost identical to the impression for regular crown). This impression will then be sent to a laboratory for crown fabrication. Finally, a replacement tooth (crown) is attached to the abutment. Instead of a series of individual crowns, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant that retain and support an implant denture.
Reasons you may want to consider dental implants:
- Replace one or more teeth
- Provide support for a partial denture
- Increase the support and stability of full upper or lower denture
- Enhance chewing comfort
- Increase confidence while smiling, talking and eating
- Improve your overall psychological health
- Enhance aesthetic appearance and regain overall confidence