Your tooth is made up of two parts – the root, which is embedded in your jawbone, and the crown, which is the part of the tooth you can see.  When a tooth is lost or removed, the bone that previously surrounded the tooth root begins to resorb, or deteriorate.

Dental implants are basically substitute tooth roots that function like a natural tooth roots, stimulating bone growth and providing a strong foundation for replacement teeth.

Why Are Dental Implants the Preferred Method of Tooth Replacement?

Dental implants have become the preferred method of tooth replacement for several important reasons:
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  • No other treatment option prevents the bone resorption/deterioration that occurs when a tooth is lost or removed.
  • This is the only tooth replacement option that preserves the adjacent teeth, as opposed to cutting them down to place a bridge or hooking a partial denture to them.
  • Dental implants have by far the best long-term success rates of any treatment option – and this has been documented in the scientific literature for over four decades.
  • Since dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, there is rarely a need for additional treatment. With other forms of tooth replacement that need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, additional dentistry is almost always necessary in the future. As a result, dental implant treatment is the most cost-effective option long-term.

Can Dental Implants Be Used to Replace Multiple Teeth? 

Dental implants are very versatile and can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or all of the teeth.  Baltimore patients may require additional procedures to obtain the optimal esthetic and functional outcome.

A surgical evaluation and consultation with one of the oral surgeons at the Maryland Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants will determine whether you are a candidate for dental implant treatment and whether additional procedures, such as bone grafting will be necessary.

Benefits of Dental Implants

While there are other treatment options for replacing missing teeth, dental implants have numerous unique benefits for patients:

Designed to Last a Lifetime.  Because dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, they have a better long-term success rate than any other tooth replacement option.  Documented clinical research demonstrates that dental implants have a success rate of over 95%, which is significantly higher that tooth-supported bridges and partial or full dentures.

Preserves Bone and Facial Structures.  Bone resorption, or deterioration, is one of the most serious consequences of missing teeth.  By replacing the root of your tooth with a dental implant, your jawbone and smile retain their shape. If you are missing all of your teeth, replacing them with implant-supported replacement teeth will preserve the integrity of your facial structures and prevent the shrinkage of your jaws and the appearance of a collapsed face.

A Healthier Smile.  Tooth-supported bridges and partial dentures can damage your teeth over time.  With dental implants, it is not necessary to cut the adjacent down to place a bridge, which compromises the long-term health of the teeth, or hook a partial denture onto natural teeth, which can cause them to loosen to the point where they have to be removed.

Natural Appearance.  Dental implants were developed to replicate the appearance of your natural teeth – and preserve your bone to maintain the natural appearance of your smile.  You surgeon will be able to place the dental implants in the precise position to enable your dentist to create a beautiful crown that matches the shape and shade of your natural teeth.

More Hygienic and Easier to Maintain.  Caring for a single dental implant is basically the same as caring for a natural tooth.  You’ll be able to brush and floss your implant-supported tooth.  Your hygienist will clean your new implant crown during your regular hygiene maintenance appointment.

Ultimately, dental implants will function the same way as your natural teeth, allowing you to smile with confidence and enjoy any type of food.

For more information about the benefits of dental implants visit The Dental Implant Guide.

What Will Happen During My Surgical Evaluation for Dental Implants?

Baltimore area patients will require a surgical evaluation and consultation to evaluate their situation to determine if they are candidates for dental implant treatment, and to develop the ideal treatment plan based on their individual needs.

Dentists throughout Baltimore and Harford County refer their patients to the Maryland Center for Oral Surgery & Dental Implants because the Board Certified Oral Surgeons are some of the most experienced dental implant surgeons in the country.

During your consultation, your surgeon will determine the:

  • Quality and quantity of available bone
  • Number of dental implants needed to create the optimal result
  • Other procedures that may be necessary to prepare the surgical site

The Maryland Center for Oral Surgery & Dental Implants utilizes leading edge technology, such as 3D cone beam imaging to obtain the most accurate, detailed view of your teeth, bone and facial structures for the most precise diagnosis and treatment planning available.

How Are Dental Implants Placed and Restored?

Once your surgeon has developed your ideal treatment plan and determined whether you need additional procedures to obtain the optimal end result, you’ll be ready to schedule your surgical procedures.

If the tooth to be replaced has not yet been removed, your first surgical procedure will be to remove the tooth. If you do not have sufficient bone for a dental implant, you will need bone grafting to add bone to the site where the implant will be placed. In certain cases, the tooth removal and bone graft can be completed at the same time as the implant placement. In other cases, the implant will be placed several weeks after the surgical removal of  the tooth and bone graft.

Dental-Implant_Implant-Placement-Procedure-150x150Implant Placement.  Your surgeon will administer anesthesia to prevent any sensation during surgery. Utilizing a gentle technique, your surgeon will prepare the surgical site and place the dental implant in the proper position. A small cover screw will then be attached to the implant.  A temporary replacement tooth (or set of teeth) will be inserted following surgery. The implant will be left undisturbed for a several weeks to a few months, to allow the bone to remodel around the implant.

 

Dental-Implant_Abutment-Attachment-ProcedureAbutment Attachment. Once the bone has fused to the bone and formed a strong biological bond, you will return to the surgeon’s office to have a small connector post attached to each implant. Your new replacement teeth will be attached to theses abutments. Your surgeon and dentist will determine the best abutment to use for your case. This is often a custom abutment, which is utilized to enable your dentist to design the ideal shape of your replacement teeth.

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Replacement Teeth. The final phase of treatment is designing and fabricating the final replacement crown, bridge, or set of teeth. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and the abutments and send them to a dental technician, who will create the replacement teeth.  Your dentist will also determine the best shade to match your natural teeth. Once the technician has fabricated your new teeth, your dentist will attach them to the abutments, completing your treatment.

The Board Certified Oral Surgeons at the Maryland Center for Oral Surgery & Dental Implants are considered among the top specialists in the region and will support Baltimore patients with exceptional care throughout their treatment.