What are dental implants?
A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a dental implant.
Surgical Advances in Dental Implants
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Ying is able to place single stage implants in certain situations. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of eight or more weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. Dr. Ying performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. The restorative dentist (your dentist) fabricates the abutment and crown, which is the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist may make a temporary prosthesis if requested during the implant process.