Patient Education

Dental Implants

Dr. Day and Dr. Kim have advanced training in the placement of dental implants. Our goal here at the Oral and Facial Surgery Center is to provide a new standard of care in creating exceptional results with minimal discomfort.  We will work closely with your restorative dentist to create a highly aesthetic and functional result.

Replacing a Missing Tooth

A natural tooth is anchored into the jawbone by its tooth root. Tooth roots should be attached firmly to the bony jaw and keep your teeth stable when chewing or eating.

Traditionally, if a patient was missing a tooth or if one needed to be removed, the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth would be cut down to secure anchors for a dental "bridge".

Dental implants are the modern alternative. Instead of cutting down two perfectly healthy teeth, Dr. Day or Dr. Kim will insert a dental implant or post into the jawbone to replace your missing tooth root. This implant heals and becomes anchored or "integrated" into your jaw like a natural tooth root. Once this healing is complete, your restorative dentist will place a crown onto this artificial root that looks, feels, and functions like your natural tooth.

Quite simply, dental implants are the best and most natural replacement for missing teeth.

Replacing Several Missing Teeth

Traditionally, several missing teeth would have been replaced with a removable partial or full denture.

Dentures have to be taken out and soaked at night. During the day, they can also look unnatural and rub painfully. Dentures and partials make it difficult or impossible to eat certain foods.

Dental implants can now be used to anchor partial and full dentures. This prevents the slipping, irritation, and pain associated with "floating" partials and dentures. It also prevents the tedious removal of dentures for overnight soaking and cleaning. Dental implants also eliminate the need for dental adhesives. This allows you to enjoy eating the foods you previously avoided . With dental implants, your partials or dentures are firmly anchored to the jawbone, causing them to feel much more like natural teeth.

Both natural tooth roots and integrated dental implants are anchored firmly in your jawbone. When you chew, both tooth roots and implant posts stimulate the jawbone and prevent it from melting away or resorbing. You may know people who appear prematurely old after losing their teeth because their jawbone had melted away after wearing traditional dentures.  Dental implants help preserve your jawbone and appearance.

The Success Rate of Dental Implants

Dental implants have a high rate of predictable success.  After their healing period, the success rate of implants is typically between 94% and 98%. If you are a non-smoker with good oral hygiene, the percentage may be even higher.

Advanced Dental Imaging

One key to dental implant safety and success is thru the use of advanced imaging. Cone beam digital CT scanning allows us to take 3-Dimensional, high resolution CT scans of your facial anatomy.  We can then view these images from different angles, take precise measurements, and easily share this data with other doctors.  A CT scan ensures that every possible precaution has been made to reduce the risk of involvement of the nerves in the lower jaw, and the sinuses and nose in the upper jaw.

Until recently, CT scans were only performed in hospitals or medical facilities.  Our office is one of the very few in the United States with the latest in digital CT scanning. To read more about the advanced dental imaging we use, click here.

Does the Procedure Hurt?

The discomfort involved with receiving a dental implant is similar to that of having a minor dental treatment.  It is often done under local anesthesia and patients generally experience little discomfort after the procedure.

How Long Will Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants become anchored to the jawbone. Though the life span of a dental implant will vary with each patient, many have lasted for over 30 years. With good oral hygiene and regular care, dental implants should last a lifetime.  In contrast, the average life span of a fixed bridge or other traditional dental treatments is much less.

Bone Regeneration

A critical question in determining whether a dental implant can be placed is, "is there enough bone to support the implant?" Fortunately, advanced bone grafting and regeneration techniques now make it possible to place many more implants than just 10 years ago. Learn more about Bone Grafting.

Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Dental implant treatment begins with an evaluation by your general or restorative dentist who will determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure. If they feel dental implants might be a good choice, they will send you to an Oral and Facial Surgeon for further evaluation.

For More Information

The following sites will provide you with more information on dental implants: