Implants are basically artificial tooth roots that are placed into the jaw bone and are used to support the teeth/crowns. While Mountain View Periodontist Dr. Timothy Wu surgically places the manufactured post that creates the stable foundation for your new tooth, the final natural looking tooth restoration will be placed by your restorative dentist. Dental Implants look, feel and function like natural teeth and can last a lifetime if they are properly cared for. Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth. As a periodontist who specializes in precisely these areas, Mountain View Periodontist Timothy Wu, D.D.S. has the special knowledge, training and facilities that you need, to have teeth that look and feel just like your own.
Benefits of Dental Implants:
• Are the most advanced tooth replacement system ever devised;
• Help preserve the jawbone to prevent the appearance of premature aging;
• Look and function like natural teeth;
• Improve comfort, appearance, speech;
• Have a very high long-term success rate;
• Allow you to eat the foods you love and talk, smile and laugh with confidence;
• Represent a conservative treatment option—adjacent teeth are left untouched;
• Never develop decay • never require root canals;
• Can provide excellent stability for removable dentures, making it more secure and comfortable;
• Can completely eliminate the need for a denture;
• Can help people of any age;
• Are placed in our office with minimal discomfort
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
Although dental implant treatment may initially be more expensive than other treatment methods it often turns out to be the best investment from a long term perspective since most patients can expect them to last a life time. Other treatment methods like bridges and dentures often requires regular alterations and adjustments over time.
What Is The Dental Implant Treatment Like?
This procedure is a team effort between you, your dentist and Dr. Wu. Depending on your specific condition and the type of implant chosen, Dr. Wu will create a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs.
In some cases, the teeth can be extracted and the implant placed at the same time. However, if you have a severe infection in a tooth root or your gums, we may wait a few months after removing the teeth to allow the area to heal. Before a dental implant is placed, you may need to have the bone in the area built up to increase the chance of success. This is a common procedure called bone grafting . You may have the bone graft done and get the implants at the same time, but Mountain View Periodontist Dr. Timothy Wu may decide to do the bone-graft procedure first and give the bone time to heal before placing the implants. If the bone graft is done first, you will need 4 to 12 months to heal before having the implants placed in your jawbone.
The Dental Implant Process
In our office, most dental implants are placed using a one-step process:
I. The First Dental Implant Surgery
Dr. Timothy Wu will use local anesthesia for the procedure and will offer you sedation if you want it. You can be sedated by taking medication by mouth, or the medication can be delivered through an intravenous line (a needle attached to a small tube placed in a vein in your arm).
To place the dental implants, the Dr. Wu first will make an incision (cut) in your gums to expose the bone. He then will drill a hole in the bone for the implant, and place the implant in the hole. We will take an X-ray of the area to make sure the implant is where it should be. He will then stitch (suture) your gum closed over the implant. The time required for this procedure depends on the number of implants being placed and whether or not bone grafting is being done at the same time. In most cases, placing a single dental implant requires about one hour. You will feel some pain after this procedure. The level of discomfort depends on the person, but generally it has been described as relatively mild.
Important instructions to follow after the surgery include:
* Don’t spit, suck on straws or smoke. This can dislodge blood clots and slow healing.
* Eat only soft food to avoid injuring your gum tissues.
* Don’t try to clean the implant area for the next one to two weeks, but clean the rest of your mouth normally. We’ll give you an antibacterial rinse to help keep the area clean.
You will return to our office 10 to 14 days later to have your stitches removed.
After the implant is placed in your jaw, a healing abutment will be placed on top of it. The healing abutment looks like a small metal cylinder that sits above your gums in the area where your tooth would be and maintains the space so that the gums heal correctly around the implant.
you will have to wait several months for the bone to bond with the implant. This usually takes 2 or 4 months. During this time, the head of the implant usually remains hidden under your gum.
II. The Second Phase
If the implant needs to be submerged under the gum, after bone integration, you are ready for the second stage. After giving you local anesthesia, Dr. Timothy Wu will make a small incision in the gum to expose the implant. He will remove a protective screw from the implant and replace it with a healing abutment.
Generally, you will go to your dentist or prosthodontist one to two weeks following the second phase to start the process of having your crown, bridge or denture made.
What Can I Expect After Treatment?
As you know, your own teeth require conscientious at-home oral care and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your own teeth and will require the same care. In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply!
After treatment, Mountain View Periodontist Dr. Timothy Wu will work with you and your dentist to develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your dental implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy.