Dental Implants

Quite simply, dental implants are the next best thing to your natural teeth. They are the ideal form of tooth replacement because they look and function exactly like the teeth you lost. Dental implants are artificial teeth that are surgically implanted into your jawbone. They are not removable like dentures. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or set of teeth. In some cases, they can even be used for full mouth reconstruction.

The main drawback to dental implants is their cost — they are our most expensive option for tooth replacement. But their advantages in permanence, appearance and function are well worth it.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants consist of three main components:

• the implant body, which replaces the root of the missing tooth
• an abutment, which acts as a connector between the implant and the crown
• the crown, which is the visible and functional part of the tooth

There are two options for dental implants. The more traditional option is titanium dental implants. Titanium has long been used in orthopedic (bone) installations, because the body typically won’t reject it, and bone has no issue healing around it and fusing with it. The other type, which some people consider a more holistic tooth replacement option, are zirconia dental implants. Zirconia is a ceramic, so it’s a natural material. Bone also has no problem fusing to zirconia dental implants, and the body won’t reject zirconia either. It’s a great option for people who are allergic to metals.

Dental Implant Surgery

A majority of the time, implant surgery is a two-step process. The initial surgery is routinely removing the involved tooth or teeth. Frequently, bone grafting is performed at this time to prepare the sites for upcoming implant placement, and to preserve bone volume. The second step is placement, followed by a healing time of two to four months to allow the implant and the bone to integrate. Dr. Puckett will then coordinate the crown (restorative phase) with your dentist. At times, tooth removal and implant placement can be performed simultaneously, saving about three months in the implant process and minimizing the number of necessary oral surgeries.

Dental Implants are a Team Project

Dental implants demand an integrated approach. Our oral surgeon, Dr. Puckett, coordinates the plan with your dentist and maintains communication throughout the process. Stephanie, our implant coordinator, is trained and experienced to make the implant experience seamless, and to alleviate concerns patients and restorative dentists have about dental implant surgery. Each implant patient receives a personalized treatment plan and written diagram of the steps involved. Your dentist will receive a copy of the diagram and the clinical note of the initial consultation. As the process proceeds, your dentist receives written updates at each step. As a service to the patient and referring dentist, our office provides the impression pin in order to make the crown. This service removes the need for your dentist to order another part for your implant. Often, we handle the dental implant surgery (installation of the titanium or zirconia “root”) and then your dentist handles the installation of the actual crown (fake tooth).

Zirconia Dental Implants

We offer zirconia dental implants — the only ceramic option on the market. Zirconia implants look more natural because they blend in better with the jawbone. Because they’re a ceramic, they are ideal for people who suffer from metal allergies. However, zirconia dental implants are more expensive than traditional titanium. And though they’ve been around for a couple decades, in oral and maxillofacial medicine, that’s really not long at all. So there isn’t a lot of information on how zirconia dental implants hold up long-term, though the current information is extremely promising.

Schedule An Appointment

To schedule an appointment, please call us or submit the online appointment request form. We value you as a patient and look forward to serving your needs with compassionate excellence.

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