Implants have been made available to patients that are looking for a permanent artificial tooth replacement solution that will open new doors for them.

Patients in the Downriver area who desire the ability to eat and smile like they once did before have selected dental implants as a new sense of confidence for a lifetime of dental success.

Implants from Family Gentle Dentists in Woodhaven can replace teeth, support an existing bridge, or even support your existing dentures for a new feeling of satisfaction. In addition to that, these implants do not rely on your neighboring teeth for support.

In order for these dental implants to work the way they are planned to work, the gum tissue and bone must be able to hold the tiny titanium posts that are used to secure the foundation for the artificial teeth. Bone grafting is a technology that is used to achieve this goal by growing the bone when it is needed.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a titanium metal cylinder shaped somewhat like the root of a tooth that is surgically placed within the bone and ultimately becomes integrated or fused to the jaw bone. This process is called osseointegration. There will be a post (abutment) that comes through the gum tissue which supports a crown or a bridge or removable prosthesis. Because the implant is biologically anchored to the bone of the jaw the ultimate prosthesis (crown or bridge) is rigid and stable providing painless function. In essence the implant is like getting your missing tooth back.

How are dental implants placed?

Usually the procedures to place dental implants are office procedures done under local and intravenous anesthesia at the Family Gentle Dentists dental office in Woodhaven. The surgery may take from one to three hours depending upon the number of implants and other possible procedures such as bone grafting.

An incision is made in the gum and a flap of tissue (mucoperiosteum) is retracted. A very precise opening is made in the bone which is exactly the size of the dental implant. The implant is placed within the bone and covered with gum tissue secured by dissolvable sutures. The initial healing requires a few days to a week. Over a period of 3-6 months the implant becomes integrated (fused) with the bone and a second procedure (“second stage” or uncovering of the implant) is accomplished. This is a relatively minor procedure in which a post is placed on the implant that comes up through the gum. After 3-4 weeks of healing you may return to the restorative dentist for placement of the final prosthesis (crowns or bridges). In certain cases a one stage implant is placed in which a second stage surgical procedure is not required. Throughout all of this process you should be able to wear temporary teeth made by your dentist.

Follow up care (one to four appointments) is usually needed to insure that your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment.