802.872.3593
8 Carmichael Street, Suite 102
Essex Junction, VT 05452

WILLIAM D. PURDY, DDS, MS

DENTAL IMPLANTS

Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved and they can smile with confidence. Questions about dental implants? Call our office for a consultation.

What are Dental Implants?
The dental implants themselves are titanium anchors which are inserted into the jawbone by Dr. Purdy where teeth are missing. These anchors act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are attached to the implant which protrudes through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth or to anchor dentures.

The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves a single procedure. Occasionally, with inadequate bone width to completely cover the implant, grafting of bone is required prior to implant placement.
Dental implants are placed in the bone, centered with the tooth it is to be replacing. In most cases following implant placement, a temporary healing abutment, or post, is placed into the implant. The temporary abutment protrudes slightly above the gum tissue. A retainer or artificial teeth will fit over this abutment during the healing phase. Rarely, the implant will require complete covering under the gum tissue during healing. The implant requires a two to three month healing period, to allow bonding of the jawbone to the implant.

Dental implants may be placed by either a one-stage technique or a two-stage technique. One stage means that the implant will be surgically positioned with a portion of the implant protruding through your gum tissue at the completion of surgery. Two-stage surgery requires one surgery to place the implant, followed by a healing time then a second surgery to uncover the implant and place a healing cap that protrudes through the gum tissue. Both the one-stage and two-stage implant placement techniques usually require a healing period before your restorative dentist places the crown on the implant. Most implants are placed using a one-stage technique.
After the implant has bonded to the bone, the second phase of treatment begins. You are sent to your restorative dentist to have a tooth placed on the implant. If the implant was covered by gum tissue after placement, it will require removal of gum tissue over the implant and insertion of a temporary healing abutment (post) into the implant.

The entire process of implant placement and restoration with a tooth takes from four to eight months. Most patients experience a minimal disruption in their daily life.