What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are the only true tooth replacement option and are highly recommended by Drs. Maley and Thomas at our St. Paul, MN dental office. Dental implants emerge out of the gum tissue, mimicking the root of a natural tooth.
Most implants we prescribe are from the loss of a tooth. If a diseased tooth is still in place, we will extract it without damaging the adjacent teeth or underlying bone structure. If necessary, we may place a bone graft material into the socket to preserve the bone and ensure it is of sufficient size and density to support the implant.
In most cases, once the site has healed for three months, we will surgically place the implant in our office. After the implant has integrated into the bone, we will design and place a crown onto the implant.
Dental Implants at Dr. Bob Maley Family Dentistry
One of the things our patients value most is that we are able to perform most procedures ourselves with practitioners they know and trust. Our dentists have taken hundreds of hours of Implant education and invested in state-of-the-art equipment to be able to perform both the placement of implants and the crown restorations. A dental implant is a significant investment involving a lot of moving pieces and appointments. By doing everything in house, we own the entire process and outcome. It gives us more control. It gives patients the confidence that their implant journey will be successful.
The implant journey begins with a consultation with one of our dentists to give you an understanding of the process, get your questions answered, and begin the design process. During this appointment, we will take a 3-D x-ray of your jaw and a digital impression of your teeth. This allows the dentist to digitally plan the entire implant procedure. The goal is for you to leave feeling confident in the prescribed treatment and ready for the next steps.
Once patient and dentist are comfortable with the procedure, the dentist will surgically place the implant using a 3-D-printed guide to ensure accuracy. The implant will need to heal for three months prior to restoring the implant with a tooth. The entire process generally takes three to four appointments from consultation to new tooth.
Dental Implant Care
Dental implants can last for decades but strict home care is needed. Although the implant itself is immune to decay, the surrounding gums and bone need to be cared for to prevent periimplantitis, or infection surrounding the implant. The mouth is a hostile environment and the implant needs just as much care as a natural tooth. Yes, even implants need to come in for cleanings.