Dental Implants


What are dental implants?

A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, our doctors will first replace the root with a dental implant.

Dental Implant Illustration
Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.  A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In cases  involving a front tooth a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed if the implant has enough primary stability. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.

Surgical Advances in Dental Implants

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, the Doctors at Forte are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of 90 days of healing time before the permanent teeth can be made or attached. In many cases you will have temporary teeth while the implants are healing.  There also situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.

Dental implant placement is a team effort between an implant surgeon and a restorative dentist.  Dr. Fitzgerald or Tanur will perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting as necessary.  The restorative dentist, either Dr. Fitzgerald or your dentist fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. They will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.