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Dental Implants

Advantages of Implants | Replacing a Missing Tooth | Replacing Several Missing Teeth | Am I a Candidate? | Implant FAQ

If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, there is great news! Dental implants are teeth replacements that can look and feel like your own.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a crown or bridge. While high-tech in design, dental implants are actually more conservative than traditional bridges, since implants do not rely on other teeth for support.

Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth to periodontal disease, an injury or some other reason. Under proper conditions, such as placement by a periodontist and diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime. Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for implants.

Expertise in Dental Implants

Our office is one of the most comprehensive dental implant centers in Arizona. Dr. Bernard has extensive training in all types of implants and can perform immediate extraction and placement of dental implants, in many cases.

Dr. Bernard highly values patient education. Of of his main priorities is ensuring your complete understanding of dental implants and your options before proceeding. You can be assured all of your questions and concerns will be answered.

What Dental Implants can do for you?

Dental implants replace missing teeth without affecting bordering teeth. They provide support for a bridge or denture.

Advantages of Dental Implants

  • Aesthetic: Implant supported crowns look and feel like your own teeth
  • Teeth Saving: Adjacent teeth do not have to be reduced to crowns like they do for conventional bridges
  • Confidence: Implants will allow you to eat and speak with confidence
  • Reliable: Dental implants are highly predictable

Replacing a Missing Tooth

A natural tooth is anchored into the jawbone by its tooth root. Tooth roots attach firmly to the jawbone and keep your teeth stable when chewing solid foods.

Traditionally, if you were missing a tooth or if one needed to be extracted, the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth would be cut down and the whole thing replaced by a three-crown bridge.
Natural tooth root
Natural tooth root
Dental Implants are the modern alternative. Instead of cutting down two perfectly healthy teeth, the practitioner inserts a dental post (dental implant) into the jawbone to replace your missing tooth root. This post becomes solidly fixed into your jaw (like a natural tooth root). Your general dentist then places a crown into this artificial tooth root that looks, feels and functions like your natural teeth.

Quite simply, dental implants are the most natural replacement for missing teeth and provide some of the finest restorative results in dentistry.
Dental implant crown
Dental Implant

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.

Natural tooth roots and dental implant posts are fixed firmly in your jawbone. When you chew, these tooth roots and posts stimulate the jawbone and prevent it from shrinking. You may have seen a person who looked prematurely old because their jawbone had shrunk after wearing floating dentures. Dental implants help preserve your jawbone and appearance.
Multiple implants
Dental Implant Supported Dentures are firmly anchored to the jawbone. This helps to prevent bone loss and causes them to feel much more like natural teeth.

Am I a candidate for Dental Implants?

Dental implant treatment begins with an evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure.

The best candidates for dental implants are free from periodontal diseases and have an adequate amount of bone in the jaw to support the implant. Dr. Bernard will be happy to discuss your options.

Bone Regeneration: A critical question in determining whether an implant can be placed is, "is there enough bone to support the implant?" Fortunately, advanced bone regeneration techniques now make it possible to place many more implants than just 10 years ago.

Implant FAQ

What is Treatment Like?

The best results always flow from close teamwork between you, your dentist and Dr. Bernard. Our office works closely with your dentist to determine where, when and how your implant should be placed. Planning is critical because the quality of the crown or bridge that your dentist places on the implant directly relates to the planning that occurs in advance of the implant placement. The surgical procedure to insert the implant is relatively minor. It is usually done in the office under local anesthetic. For the week after surgery, your mouth will be sore, but not painful. Medications are always prescribed to make certain you are comfortable.

What is the Follow Up Care needed?

Dental implants require the same daily home care and professional cleaning that your teeth do. Dr. Bernard will probably place you on an alternating cleaning and evaluation schedule between our office and your general dentist. In that way, we can continually monitor the health of your teeth and implant, and your dentist can make certain that your crowns and bridges are functioning as designed.

How successful are implants and the procedure?

Over thirty years of clinical documentation has proven the success of implants, with nearly half a million patients treated. After a healing period, the success rate of dental implants is between 94% and 98%. If you are a non-smoker with good oral hygiene, the percentage is closer to 98%.

There is a small possibility that the implant and bone will not attach correctly or that an implant will fail after some period of time. If this happens, the implant can be removed and often replaced by another implant.

How long will my implant last?

The first implants were put in place 40 years ago and are still functioning. To date, there is no time limit of the life expectancy of successful implants. Dental implants become fixed to the jawbone. Through the life span of a dental implant will vary with each patient, many have lasted over 40 years. With good oral hygiene and regular cleanings, dental implants should last a lifetime. In contrast, the average life span of a traditional fixed bridge is between 10-15 years

How long does the Implant procedure take?

The first procedure, placement of the implants, takes approximately 45 minutes for each implant. The second procedure to uncover the implants and attach the abutments, usually takes an hour or less.

Is the procedure painful?

The pain involved with receiving a dental implant is similar to that of having a cavity filled. If is often done under local anesthesia and patients generally experience little discomfort after the procedure. If you are like most patients, you will experience minimal discomfort during or after the operation. You and Dr. Bernard will discuss options for anesthesia and plan your procedure accordingly.

Will there be any swelling after the implant procedure?

Swelling can vary, but most people experience only minimal swelling. Any that does occur, usually ends within one or two days after the procedure.

How long will it take before I receive my replacement tooth or teeth?

The implants are usually left undisturbed in the jaw for 4 to 6 months for osseointegration to take place. Then, the new tooth or teeth can be attached to the implants.

How will the teeth be attached to the implant and what are the steps?

After Osseointegration, a minor procedure is performed to expose the top of the implant and attach a small post. Then the new tooth or teeth are custom designed to fit precisely on top of this post.

Will I be able to chew on the implant teeth with the same amount of force and pressure as I do with my natural teeth?

Yes. Studies have shown that chewing efficiency improves significantly after treatment with implants, and following a brief adaptation period, is comparable to the chewing efficiency of natural teeth.

How much will implant treatment cost?

The actual cost of the procedure will depend on the number of implants necessary, the position of implant placement and the type of replacement teeth that will best meet your needs. Dental implants represent a wise investment in overall health and well being and provide you with substantial long-term benefits.