21 King Charles Drive, Portsmouth, RI 02871 — 401-683-5990
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel, and work like natural teeth. With dental implants, someone who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat almost anything knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved.
Dental implants are small posts made of titanium which are inserted into the jawbone where the teeth are missing. The metal posts, or implants, act as a tooth root substitute. Surgically placed into the mouth, the bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Smaller posts are then attached to the implants, which protrude from the gums. These posts are stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Implants also help preserve the bone, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when natural teeth are removed.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants requires two surgical procedures. First the implants are placed in your mouth. For three to six months following surgery, the implants are at or just below the surface of the gums, gradually bonding with your jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary replacement teeth and may be asked to eat a soft diet during this period. Immediately after the surgery, Drs. Nogueira and Ruel may fabricate immediate fixed temporary teeth for you. The surgery is done at the surgeon's office, often under general anesthesia.
After the implants have bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins and Dr. Nogueira or Dr. Ruel will attach small posts which act as the anchors for your artificial teeth. The entire procedure takes four to six months.
Implants are a team effort between a surgeon and restorative dentists. Surgeons perform the actual implant surgery and initial tooth extractions and bone grafting, if necessary, while the the restorative dentist, Drs. Nogueira and Ruel, fit and make the permanent prosthesis.
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth and each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending on the type of prosthesis. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball and socket attachment, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and only removable by the dentist.
Once you learn about dental implants, you will realize they have the potential to change your life. Dental implants can be your doorway to a renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.