Dental implants are now considered the number one choice to replace missing teeth. With nearly a 98% success rate, dental implants offer a secure missing teeth treatment option. The benefits of dental implants include replacing the tooth at the root, preserve the natural teeth that are left, are a permanent restoration, and deliver a 100% normal chewing function. Jacksonville dentist, Dr. Donald Alexander offers dental implants to patients missing one or more teeth. He will recommend a single tooth implant to secure a dental crown if only one tooth is missing. If you have multiple missing teeth, he will recommend denture implants or dental implants to secure a dental bridge. Dental restorations now use the latest in dental materials to blend seamlessly with your natural tooth or teeth.
The dental implant procedure from the initial consultation to the final restoration can take from five to nine months. There will be several surgical procedures involved in the process where local anesthesia or oral sedation will be used for your comfort. Most patients don’t experience a disruption to their daily lives. This will, of course, vary for each dental implant patient since no two patients are alike.
Planning Phase – The first step in the dental implant process is an evaluation of your medical history, teeth, gums, and the current state of your oral health with Dr. Alexander. At this initial consultation he will be able to determine if you qualify for dental implants. Impressions of your teeth will be taken and a personalized treatment plan to replace your missing teeth will be formulated. This is actually the most important part of the process. A precise diagnosis and a clear, concise treatment plan guarantees the best possible outcome for each patient.
Pre-Treatments (if necessary) – Dr. Alexander may determine that you do not have sufficient bone mass to hold the implants. If the patient has low bone density, there is a greater chance that the implant will not fuse properly with the bone. In this case, bone grafting will be required before the implant can be surgically placed. A tooth extraction will be necessary if damaged or rotten teeth haven’t already fallen out before the implant surgery.
Placement of the implant – The next step is the surgical placement of the implants into your jaw bone. These implants are small, titanium post that will serve as the new tooth roots. They sit just below the gum line and, through the process of osseointegration, will fuse with the jaw bone to form a stable bond. The healing process takes approximately three to six months. A healing cap will be placed on the top of the implant or, depending on the location of your missing tooth, a temporary dental restoration may be placed in the mouth while the implant heals. Our office works with select Jacksonville periodontists and oral surgeons for the implant placement.
Placement of the Abutment – Once the bone and gums are healed and the implant has integrated with the surrounding bone, the cap or temporary restoration is removed. A small piece called an abutment is attached to the implant. This will serve as a foundation for the final restoration (a dental crown, dental bridge, or denture). Another impression will be taken and the process of creating the final restoration will begin.
Dental Implant Restoration – After brief healing period, you will return to our Jacksonville dentist office and the final restoration will be placed. The dental crown, dental bridge, or denture is secured to the dental implant(s) for a permanent restoration. Your new smile will be complete! With proper oral hygiene routine and regular visits to Dr. Alexander, your dental implants should last up to 20 years.