Dental implants are the most effective tooth replacement. They can replace a single missing tooth or several missing teeth. They look and function just like your natural teeth, and won’t slip out of place. They are also the most conservative way to replace a tooth because all other methods involve having to treat other adjoining teeth to support the false tooth.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are artificial teeth made up of three parts:
- a titanium post that is surgically implanted into your jaw,
- a small abutment fixture which fastens to the post to hold the crown soundly in place,
- and a crown, the ceramic, tooth-like structure that sits above your gumline.
If you are missing a single tooth, another option for replacement would be a dental bridge. In this scenario, crowns are placed over the adjacent teeth in order to suspend a false tooth between them. A bridge can be a good solution if the adjacent teeth need crowns anyway. But if those teeth are healthy, Dr. Stillman much prefers placing an implant.
Dental implants can also be a great option for replacing all of your teeth using implant-supported dentures. Learn more about the improved stability and functionality of implant overdentures.
Dental implants can actually help to preserve the bone of your jaw, especially if you are missing all or most of your teeth. Without a root to hold in place, your jawbone will begin to gradually recede as it is resorbed by your body. Eventually, this may result in a phenomenon known as facial collapse. But when an artificial root is introduced, it stimulates the surrounding bone and prevents such erosion.
What does the implant timeline look like?
The first step in your dental implant journey is to meet with Dr. Stillman to discuss your smile goals. She will review your dental and medical histories, conduct a careful examination, and schedule you for special imaging to help develop a customized treatment plan.
Next, it’s time to place the implants. Dr. Stillman is a fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), the world’s largest provider of continuing dental implant education. To earn her fellowship, Dr. Stillman was required to complete a minimum of one hundred hours of continuing education in implant dentistry, submit a list of twenty successfully completed cases, and provide a letter of recommendation from another dentist with an advanced credential from the ICOI. In most cases, she will perform your surgery herself. If you have a particularly complex case requiring several implants, you may be referred to Dr. Stillman’s colleague, a periodontist, for outpatient surgery.
After the metal post is implanted, it needs time to heal and bond with the existing bone. Osseointegration can take three months or longer, depending on the case. During this time, you will have periodic visits to assess your progress and check for signs of infection.
Working in conjunction with a specialty laboratory, Dr. Stillman will design beautiful crowns that will look so natural, no one will know that they aren’t your own teeth. She will only place your crowns if you truly love the results.
Caring for your dental implants
Another benefit of dental implants is that they can be maintained in the same manner as your natural teeth—with daily brushing and flossing. Conversely, dental bridges often require the use of a special threader to to slide floss beneath the bridge, which can be inconvenient and make your hygiene routine more cumbersome.
Are you a good candidate for dental implants?
If you are missing one or multiple teeth and are healthy enough to undergo outpatient surgery, you are likely eligible to receive dental implants. Even if you are battling mild to moderate bone loss, Dr. Stillman can assess your condition and determine whether bone grafting is necessary to build up the jaw before you begin your treatment.
Schedule an Appointment
Are you wondering if you are a candidate for dental implants? Just ask for a complimentary consultation. Dr. Stillman will spend 15 minutes with you and answer your questions. You can tour the office, and then, if you’d like, you can schedule an examination with x-rays.
If you’re ready to schedule your appointment, please visit our request an appointment page or call the office directly.