Implant Dentistry

If you are embarrassed to smile or have difficulty chewing or speaking because you are missing teeth, consider implant dentistry. Dental implants are an increasingly popular alternative to other tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges. Dental implants are the comfortable, natural-looking, long-term solution to missing teeth.

Dr. LaMarche has extensive experience and training in implant dentistry, and is experienced in the entire process – from initial consultation to implant surgery and placement of new teeth.

When natural teeth are missing, titanium implants and more recently, zirconium oxide (all ceramic) implants are used to replace the root portion of teeth.  They are placed into the bone and below the gums where replacement teeth are then fixed onto these new “roots”. Dental implants allow people who are missing teeth to be able to smile, speak, and chew well and comfortably.

Successful implant treatment has dramatically improved the quality of life for thousands of people. With proper planning and care, implants can be an excellent answer to the problems associated with missing natural teeth.  They feel, chew, floss and look natural.

What Mouth Conditions Might Require A Dental Implant?

In you are missing one or more teeth, or even parts of your jaw; a dental implant may be a possible replacement. There are several important criteria that must first be considered.

Implants work best when there is enough dense, healthy jawbones in a mouth that will provide an adequate foundation.

Healthy, disease-free gum tissues are also necessary. The long-term success of a dental implant depends upon keeping the gums and bone around the implant healthy. People who have implants must keep them clean and should return regularly for checkups, because any problems that might threaten the health of the implant must be corrected.

Who Should Not Have Dental Implants?
If you have any of the following conditions, dental implant therapy may not be for you.

Crippling or uncontrolled disease.
Conditions that affect the body’s ability to heal and repair itself may have a negative effect on the placement and health of an implant. Persons with diseases (such as diabetes) that are not under control are not good candidates for dental implants because the uncontrolled disease keeps the body from healing itself normally. However, a diabetic person under proper control by a doctor could be treated successfully with implants.

Other diseases such as leukemia or hyperthyroidism (abnormal activity of the parathyroid glands) also may affect the outcome of implant treatment. Persons who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer should not have treatment procedures that are advantageous but not urgent (such as dental implants) until cancer treatment is completed and they have the “OK” to move forward with treatment. If you have any questions about how your general health might affect dental implants in your mouth, feel free to discuss this with Dr. LaMarche or the staff at Forum Dental Group.

Women who are pregnant should not undergo any treatment such as dental implants until after the first three months of their pregnancy. In general, it is best to wait until after delivery to start dental implant treatment.

Poor motivation to accept and follow needed treatment
In order that dental implants are successful, one must be committed to following all the necessary steps before, during, and long after treatment; those who are not able nor willing to undergo the necessary treatment, or to take care of their new teeth on a regular basis, should not consider implant therapy.

Lack of muscular coordination to manage oral hygiene procedures
Keeping the bone and gums around dental implants healthy, requires carefully cleaning the implants. Therefore, one must be able to handle a tooth brush, dental floss, or other cleaning tools to remove food and plaque. Persons with severe arthritis or other handicaps that affect the hands and arms may not be good candidates for implant treatment.

Are Dental Implants For Me?

  • Are you missing all natural teeth in one or both jaws?
  • Are you missing one or more teeth?
  • Are you having difficulty wearing a regular removable denture because you gag, find the denture is too bulky, feel pain, continuously salivate or generally dislike something movable in the mouth?
  • Do you have an oral defect or missing mouth part because of an injury, surgery to treat disease, or birth defect?
  • If you answered yes to any of the above conditions or preferences, you may be a candidate for dental implants.
  • Your age generally will not prevent the placement or use of dental implants. However, pre-adolescent or very elderly person may not be good candidates for treatment.

Are There Any Risks To My Health With Implant Treatment?
Some health factors are important when considering dental implants:

Surgery or anesthetic
Usual precautions associated with a local or general anesthetic must be taken. Sometimes an opening into the sinus cavity above the upper teeth or a nerve injury can occur. These incidents seldom result in permanent damage.

People who experience abnormal psychological stresses or are not motivated may have problems with surgery and may not be able or willing to follow oral hygiene instructions. However, persons who avoid contact with other people because they are concerned about their missing or unattractive teeth may be helped.

There are some temporary conditions that can result from implant placement: pain and swelling of gums, lip, tongue; speech problems; and inflammation (heat, redness, swelling, and pain) of the gums. Possible long-term difficulties may include nerve injury, bone loss if the implants fail, overgrowth of gums, and mouth or general bacterial infection. For those people who have other body part replacements or heart valve problems, endocarditis (inflammation of the inside lining of the heart) or infection may be a risk.

What is Osseointegration?
When dental implants that have been placed in your jawbone are successful, Osseointegration occurs. This term means bone connection or bone growth into and around the implant. The metal or ceramic part of the implant is placed into your jawbone and then the bone actually attaches itself directly to the implant, growing all around it and supporting it firmly.

Scientific data do tell us that implant systems based on osseointegration are predictable and highly successful.

How Long Will Dental Implants Last?
With advances in the science of implant dentistry, you can now expect that most implants will function as long as they are properly maintained such that the surround bone and gums remains healthy. However, like any dental restoration, the teeth may wear or break and need to be repaired or replaced. After you have been examined and before you make any decision on implant treatment, you must consider cost. Just like any complicated and time-consuming medical or dental procedure, implant treatment is moderately expensive. You should be aware of all the costs involved. Forum Dental Group will work with you and any other care providers to ensure you are always well informed regarding costs and what if any, insurance benefits you may have.

If you have dental insurance, we will contact the insurance company before you start treatment to find out whether or how much of the treatment might be covered. Insurance policies vary in their coverage of elective procedures such as implants. It is important that, before you agree to proceed, you fully understand how much your insurance company will pay and what your responsibility will be.