Dental Implants

Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.

What Are Dental Implants?

The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.

Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.

The Surgical Procedure

For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves one surgical procedure.  It involves a small procedure to insert the implant into the jaw bone.  This process is rarely painful and typically is less involved than when the tooth was removed.

 There are three parts to the dental implant.  First, is the implant fixture (screw) itself.  Second, is the abutment that screws in the fixture.  Third, is the crown or prosthesis.  Once the implant is placed within your jawbone a small healing abutment is placed that protrudes through the gums.  This is followed by a healing time of about three months. During this time you are able to wear temporary dentures, if indicated, and eat a normal. After healing a restorative dentist removes the healing abutment and attaches the final abutment that anchors the artificial teeth. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen.

 The entire procedure usually takes 3 – 6 months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.

 

Dental Implants Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.

Dental Implants Presentation

Surgical Advances

Dr. Funderburk uses the most recent advances in technology in dental implant technology.  He performs the full scope of dental implant placement including immediate placement at time of tooth removal, CT guided placement when indicated, teeth in a day techniques, and zygomatic implants for severely atrophic jaws. 

Dental Implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist.  Dr. Funderburk works with the most talented restorative Dentist’s on the Western Slope.  If you are interested in dental implants, and do not currently have a restorative dentist, we can help match you with someone to fit your needs.

What Types Of Implant Replacement Teeth Are Available?

A crown is used to replace one missing tooth each crown attaches to its own implant. A fixed bridge can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. An implant retained denture replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of false teeth (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable denture attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.

Dental Implant Overview

For a brief narrated overview of the dental implant process, please click the image below. It will launch our educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about dental implants.

Dental Implant Overview

Why Dental Implants?

Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you have several missing teeth whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.

Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.

A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, developed this concept for oral rehabilitation more than 35 years ago. With his pioneering research, Dr. Branemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.

Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?

There are several reasons:
Implants are a very healthy tooth replacement option. They never decay or become abscessed.
Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? Dental implants are very close in cost to a bridge, but will last longer than a bridge.
In addition, removing a denture or a partial at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing. An implant-supported denture can provide stability and slow down or prevent bone loss.

Are You A Candidate For Dental Implants?

Whether you are needing to replace one tooth, several teeth or all of your teeth, dental implants are a healthy solution. With the exception of growing children, over 90% of people missing teeth are good candidates for implants. If you are considering implants, Dr. Funderburk will examine your mouth thoroughly and review your medical and dental history to determine the dental implant solution right for you.

What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?

The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia.  We offer the full range of anesthetic options from Nitrous Oxide, to IV sedation, to General Anesthesia.  Dr. Funderburk performs in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility.  We work with some  of the grand valleys most talented anesthesiologists, when indicated, for added patient comfort and safety.  

Do Implants Need Special Care?

Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.

What is the Cost of Dental Implants?

Dental implant cost varies greatly depending on the number and type of dental implants needed for your specific treatment. On your first visit to our specialty practice, Dr. Funderburk will evaluate and consult with you to determine the best dental treatment plan for you.  We will then provide you with a treatment plan estimate to restore your healthy smile.