Dental implants are the most permanent, comfortable, durable and natural looking replacement for a missing tooth. Today’s dental implant restorations are virtually indistinguishable from other natural teeth. They have become extremely popular because they act as natural teeth, allowing you to continue to eat normally without the restrictions necessary to maintain a denture or dental bridge. Implants can be an ideal solution for people who have lost teeth because of tooth decay, root canal failure, trauma to mouth, excessive wear and tear, and congenital defects. Dental implants are also used to stabilize upper or lower dentures.
Dental implantation can be done any time after adolescence or when bone growth is complete. Certain medical conditions, such as active diabetes, cancer or periodontal disease, may require additional treatment before the implant procedure can be performed. Healing from the surgical procedure to place the dental implant takes up to six months for the implant to anchor to the jaw bone. After the dental implant is integrated, the final crown can be placed.
Dr. Kirkpatrick went through an intensive and comprehensive hands-on training program for implant placement and restoration. He will sit down and discuss your personal situation with respect to your teeth and gums, bone density, and implant placement. It is recommended that a CT scan be taken (by an outside firm) in order to evaluate your jaw bone structure and bone density for placing the implant(s) and to determine exactly where the implant(s) should be placed.
Based on our experience with patients in our office, the recovery from the initial surgical procedure is brief. Our patients have experienced minimal discomfort, if any at all. Upon completion of the implant procedure, one does need to be diligent about home care with implants. Failure to floss and brush can cause implant failure. Smoking is also a contributor to causing failure with dental implants and should be avoided following implant procedures.