Dental implants have become a go-to replacement option – for one missing tooth, several in a row, or at various locations in the mouth, or to restore an entire arch. Implant restorations are popular because they look natural and feel and function like your own teeth. The team at Stevenson, Fairchild & Surber OMS, with offices in Valparaiso & Merrillville, IN, is eager to explain this personalized process.
Valparaiso & Merrillville, IN dental implants surgeons work as an integrated team
While the surgical placement of an implant generally takes less than an hour, a successful long-term outcome hinges on careful planning. It is essential for our surgeons to work closely with your family dentist to chart the most favorable course.
Your treatment plan will involve a tailored combination of the following:
- Planning – We start with physical molds and digital impressions to produce a precise replica of your mouth. Bite registration details the relationship of upper and lower jaws. We use this information, along with high resolution 3D imaging, to create a computer-guided strategy for placement.
- Anesthesia – With low-trauma techniques, often only local numbing is needed. However, you also have the options of nitrous oxide (inhaled), and intravenous sedation.
- Bone grafting – Bone thins when a tooth is missing for a while. Modern bone grafting materials and methods make dental implants viable for most patients and reduce risk of nerve or sinus complications.
- Implant placement – A small soft tissue incision allows the surgeon to access bone. The titanium screw is gently inserted, and gum tissue may be sutured.
- Temporary teeth – In some cases, implants can be “loaded” immediately. Usually, it is beneficial to allow several months for bone to integrate solidly with the implant. During this time, you may be fitted with a fixed or removable temporary restoration.
- Final restoration – As with temporary teeth, the final restoration (implant-retained crown, bridge, or denture) is usually performed by your general dentist with input from our surgical team.
- Soft tissue graft – It may be advantageous to augment gum around the implant for hygiene and natural appearance.
In skilled, experienced hands, the long-term success rate for dental implants is greater than 95 percent, making this a cost-effective choice. Call (219) 307-4382 or (219) 600-5797 to contact our offices in Valparaiso & Merrillville, IN.