dental implant patients have absolutely no regrets about their investment in a remarkable smile. “Wow! That was fast! Wow! That was painless. Wow! My smile is amazing!”
There are few physical features (okay, maybe your hair) that can be transformed as quickly as your smile. Consider how long it takes to tighten your abs or lose weight.
If you have never seen photos of some of our smile transformation patients, you are probably not aware of how dramatic the results can be. There is virtually no dental problem that can’t be improved with unprecedented cosmetic dentistry at .
Do you want to look younger, more attractive, and more confident? Consider an expert cosmetic dental smile makeover from one of the top dental implant dentists in .
The dental implant procedure involves three main parts:
The implant—also called a post or artificial tooth root
The abutment—a connector piece
The prosthesis—artifical tooth crown, dental bridge, or denture/partial denture
In today’s post, we review the critical connecting component: the abutment.
What Is An Abutment?
The abutment is the connector piece between a tooth implant and the artifical tooth. It links the crown, dental bridge, or denture to the implant.
Your dentist may attach a temporary healing abutment to the post during the initial surgery. A healing abutment is sometimes referred to as a ‘healing cuff’ or ‘healing cap.’
When the implant has fused with the bone and is ready for the final abutment, the healing abutment is detached. Then the permanent abutment is placed.
What Is The Abutment Made Of?
Abutments are produced with titanium, stainless steel, zirconia, gold, or polyether ether ketone. Each type of material has specific properties. Your dentist will choose the best material for your unique needs.
How Does My Dentist Attach The Abutment?
Attaching the abutment is a fairly quick and easy procedure. Your dentist will make an incision in your gum tissue at the implant site to expose the implant. Then the abutment is attached. Your dentist may place the prosthesis at the same time. Or your dentist may wait until your gums have healed.
If you are researching the cost of a dental implant, determine whether the advertised price includes the abutment and prosthesis.
We start with X-rays, an exam, and a consultation. We’ll take numerous X-rays of your teeth and jaw. Images are taken from numerous angles. It’s important to confirm that you have enough healthy bone structure.
If you don’t have sufficient bone at the implant site, we may recommend bone grafting surgery. (This is discussed on our website.)
During the exam, we will check that your gums are healthy. Along with healthy bone, healthy gums are required.
During the consultation, we’ll talk about your oral and physical health in general. We will discuss your medical history. will validate that you are a good candidate for the procedure.
may prescribe an anti-bacterial rinse for you to use for a few days prior to the surgery. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to help prevent an infection.
During Implant Surgery
First, we’ll use local anesthesia to numb the implant site.
Next, will make an incision in the gums. This opens the gums so the bone is accessible.
will then drill a small hole. The hole is the precise diameter and depth of the post. Then the implant post is screwed into the hole in the bone.
We’ll take an X-ray to verify the implant is in the correct place. will sew the gums back over the implant.
NOTE: The image shows the implant with the connector piece attached. This is how it will look when it is ready for the final crown. When the post is initially implanted, as mentioned, the gums are sewn back over the site. During the months the post is fusing to the bone, the implant post will not be visible.
The tooth implant procedure will take about an hour.
If the implant location (and missing tooth) is visible when you smile, we will create a removable partial denture. You can wear this ‘flipper’ while you are waiting for the final crown.
After Implant Surgery
Patients usually feel minimal pain when the local anesthesia wears off. There may be some swelling at the implant location. Slight bruising may transpire as well.
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen is usually enough for post-surgery soreness. Most dental implant patients can go back to work after the surgery.
There is minimal pain. You won’t have to take an entire day off. Most likely, you’ll be back to your normal activities right away.
A cosmetic surgeon has specialized schooling in addition to the training a general surgeon completes. Likewise, a dental implant dentist has completed rigorous courses in addition to dental school. Of course, many general dentists offer dental implants.
In many cases, general dentists achieve adequate results. However, there is a difference between adequate results and amazing results. Dental implant specialists have the skills and experience to create absolutely spectacular smiles.
A dental implant requires oral surgery. Though it is extremely safe and has a high success rate, you want a specialist.
Let’s talk about the cosmetic component of dental implant procedures.
You have probably seen pleasing crowns performed by a general dentist. They are often perfectly shaped, correctly aligned and pleasingly white.
But have you ever seen crowns executed by a true artist? The color, translucency, and texture take the crowns to the ultimate level of breathtaking beauty.
If you are considering dental implants, ask your dentist about his or her specialized training. A smile makeover can completely change your life and self-image.
It can be confusing to research the cost of getting a dental implant and finding nothing solid on the internet. Let’s take a moment to explain why most dental practice website don’t publish the cost of tooth implants.
1. The Math Might Come Out Higher Than it Should The number of teeth being replaced may be more than the number of implants needed to cover that section of the mouth. Tooth implant dentists want to offer accurate pricing rather than scare you away with higher estimates. It takes an easy consultation to review dental history, analyze needs and design a treatment plan. This could mean a more efficient surgery with fewer implants.
2. There Might Be Something Better For Your Mouth While dental implants really are the state of the art in tooth replacement, much better than a bridge or denture, sometimes the technique won’t be what you thought it was going to be, or maybe you aren’t a good candidate for the service. 3. Supply Costs and Lab Costs Change A ballpark number might be possible to post on the internet but the changing cost of supplies and lab fees make it impossible to guarantee an exact price for full mouth dental implants. Dentists who offer implants can precisely calculate dental implant surgery expenses based on current prices when you come in for a consultation.
Please make an appointment to quickly and accurately get these answers. Call at for more details.
When you meet a person in who is missing a front tooth, what does that say to you?
Do you wonder if they were in an accident?
Do you automatically start making assumptions about their income, level of education and overall physical health?
Though it is extremely unfair, we are often evaluated (and misjudged) by our appearance. Even if a man or woman is impeccably dressed and groomed, a missing front tooth detracts from the overall nice presentation.
How Does it Decrease Your Quality of Life?
Here is a personal story from a woman who lost a tooth:
I lost my job and along with it my dental insurance, then a month later, one of my front teeth. It has been very hard to find work…. and I know the missing tooth has cost me several jobs.”
Missing teeth can be a big deal. Here’s another experience:
I was involved in a car accident three years ago. Two of my teeth were damaged and had to be extracted. For six months I had a big gap in my smile. I have to make sales calls for my job. I felt so self-conscious it affected my work. I tried a dental bridge, but it was hard to clean. One of the adjacent teeth ended up getting decay. I needed a permanent solution.
Better Than Dentures
Dental implants not only restore oral health, they restore self-confidence. Dental implants are a long-term solution for missing teeth.
Studies have shown that after more than 20 years, the vast majority of dental implants continue to function at peak performance. If properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Call at for more information about dental implants and restorative dentistry-
In case you are unfamiliar with dental implant procedures, first let’s review what they are.
What is a Dental Implant?
A permanent dental implant is a permanent replacement tooth root. It is inserted into the jaw and eventually meshes with the jawbone. This provides a durable, sturdy base for a porcelain crown or denture.
Are sturdy and unmovable
Blend perfectly with your natural teeth
Help you speak and eat normally
Prevent bone loss that can arise when a tooth is extracted
Prevent the issues associated with dentures
Evaluating Dental Implant Success Rates
Now let’s discuss success rates.
Perhaps someone told you that dental implants have a high failure rate. Or maybe you read a success rate on the internet that seemed too good to be true.
We all know that a single number can’t portray a comprehensive picture of the success rate of any dental procedure.
Whenever you hear a finding, look at the following:
What is the source?
How was the rate determined?
What were the factors?
In the context of dental implant success rates, this is how you would apply the questions:
Does this statistic come from a reputable source, for example, a clinical trail? What were the conditions of the study? Did the study include general dentists? Or was it restricted to dental implant specialists?
Dental Implants Are A Proven Tooth Replacement Option
The dental implant procedure studies under real-world conditions have found a five-year success rate of 98%.
If you are contemplating dental implant surgery, be aware that at , we only recommend surgery for individuals who are good candidates. This helps us maintain a nearly 100% success rate. (Which we are very proud of, by the way.)
is a dental implant specialist. At , we have carried out hundreds of dental implant procedures.
Wouldn’t you rather have a dental implant specialist instead of a general dentist who only does an implant procedure periodically?
There are several things the patient can do to help ensure a successful procedure.
Follow post-placement surgery directions.
Practice proper oral hygiene—keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.
Don’t chew on hard foods or other items. If you grind your teeth, request treatment.
Have a twice-yearly dental exam and cleaning.
If properly cared for, a tooth implant can last the rest of your life. (We hope you have a very long and happy ‘rest of your life.’)
When you receive a an implant, a dental crown is the final component.
Let’s discuss the complex process required to engineer a dental crown.
Dental crowns can be produced with metal, ceramic (porcelain), resins, or varying combinations of these.
Modern porcelain crowns are an engineering marvel. They make reconstructive and cosmetic dentistry possible.
This picture shows three crowns attached to two implant posts. While the most advanced dental lab techs and adept ceramists can’t make a tooth as strong as Mother Nature can, they are getting pretty darn close.
As far as beauty goes, today’s high-quality crowns are just as attractive and natural looking as genuine teeth. (A crown that looks like a white Chiclet and sticks out like a sore thumb is not a high-quality crown from .)
To create a model for the crown, a dental assistant makes an impression of all the teeth. The impression is sent to a lab where the plaster teeth are separated. The individual tooth mold in need of restoration is scanned into a computer to have the specific dimensions to send to the lab.
The state-of-the-art lab has a computerized machine that pours plaster into cylindrical molds, making blanks. Once hardened, the process of making the tooth from the plaster blanks begins.
The machine takes the scanned data from the impression and begins sculpting out the contours found in the scan. The finished tooth is not to scale, being 20% to 30% larger than needed. This enlargement is to allow for material shrinkage that will later occur.
The machine then dips the plastered tooth into liquid ceramic. The ceramic hardens and gives the tooth a lustrous, natural finish that is indistinguishable from a genuine tooth. The machine then starts a new process of orienting the tooth with others. This time, ceramic powder is poured into new molds over the plaster tooth. The molds are put on a rod and then plunged into a water-filled chamber. Once the chamber lid is closed, water pressure increases, solidifying each ceramic tooth.
The restoration is then chiseled to perfectly match the plastered tooth that is inside. This tooth becomes the ceramic shell of the crown and is easily lifted off the plastered tooth.
This shell, or coping, is then exposed to a high temperature for increased stability. It also shrinks to the proper size. Once finished, a plastic replica of the original tooth is created from the computer scan. The new shell is then tested for precise fitting over the tooth.
The next step is the application of layers of colored porcelain. A skilled ceramist—an artist in every sense of the word—may apply up to 15 layers of porcelain to perfectly match the variations in the surrounding teeth. This labor-intensive job accounts for much of the cost of a high-quality crown.
The crown is then fired to making the porcelain more impenetrable throughout. More hand contouring follows, as needed. The final step is the application of a clear, ceramic gloss.
This intensive process results in a terrific crown for one of our patients!
A permanent dental implant is a permanent anchor (post) that is inserted into the jawbone at the site of an extracted tooth. In the months after implantation, it integrates with the jawbone. This is called osseointegration.
The post becomes a strong and stable base for the visible restoration (abutment) above the gumline. The beautiful crown is attached to the post and abutment.
Your jawbone and blood circulation treat the post as if it’s a natural tooth root.
Why Is It Better Than Dentures Or A Dental Bridge?
With a dental bridge, your dentist removes tooth structure from the adjoining teeth to attach the bridge (false tooth). It compromises the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth.
A tooth implant doesn’t cause any damage to the adjacent teeth. In fact, it helps the adjacent teeth.
The post prevents the bone loss and diminished blood circulation that almost always occurs after a tooth is extracted. An implant is better for your oral health than an extraction followed by no restoration.
Dentures make it hard to eat, taste, and talk. It’s harder to consume a nutritious diet with dentures.
Dentures don’t prevent bone recession. And they can irritate the soft tissues of the mouth. Plus they reduce self-confidence and quality of life.
How Long Does A Tooth Implant Last?
If your mouth is otherwise healthy and you take proper care of a dental implant, it can last a lifetime.
A traditional dental bridge lasts from 7-10 years. Dentures last from 5-7 years.
Today, dental patients with missing teeth are fortunate to have a tooth replacement choice that is far better than both traditional dentures and dental bridges.