At Dr. Brendan Selway’s practice in Fremont, CA, we use dental implants as a restorative option to replace a missing tooth. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are permanently integrated in a patient’s jaw to support natural-looking replacement teeth.
DR. BRENDAN SELWAY: Dental implants are used in order to fill an edentulous space. And an edentulous space is one that where the tooth is missing, whether it was from an extraction previously, or whether itâ€™s an extraction of an un-restorable tooth that we then prepare for the dental implant to fill that space.
When a patient walks in the door and is already missing a tooth, then itâ€™s basically we have you come in for a consult appointment that usually takes about 10-15 minutes, kind of talking about the process. Then at the next appointment, weâ€™ll have you come in for impressions, take some x-rays, so that we are able to then make all the measurements that are needed, and then at that point, weâ€™ll set you up for, either a second or third appointment, depending on the patientâ€™s timing and how we work out the appointments. But itâ€™s usually a second or a third appointment. The patient then comes in for about an hour, hour and a half appointment for one implant. And itâ€™s just using local anesthesia. You donâ€™t feel anything.
We replace the implant at that point, and then the normal protocol is basically waiting close to about four months allowing that implant to be fully integrated into the bone. Then at that time, we take impressions andâ€”so that would be your third or fourth appointment. So about your fourth or fifth appointment is when you actually get the crown on. So now what we have with the dental implants is weâ€™ve got a prosthesis that weâ€™re able to fill an edentulous area, allow a patient to have a fixed tooth that will function, work, and feel just as any other tooth will. You floss in between it.
As far as the gum tissue, weâ€™ve gotten it down to, in terms of anesthetics, now where we can do things with porcelain, or we can do different gingival contouring, different gingival surgeries in order to bulk up gingival to make it look really just as a normal tooth. In terms of chewing when you have something fixed, itâ€™s going to be just as strong, or in some instances, maybe a little stronger than somebodyâ€™s dentition was before because the dental implant integrates completely into the bone. Itâ€™s basically a part of the bone then. It doesnâ€™t have the ligament that some teeth do. Itâ€™s not going to be prone to some of the decay that normal non-filled end up having. So you end up with something very fixed, something very strong in terms of bite force, two or three times stronger than anything thatâ€™s going to be removable to a moment where they just absolutely love it. Theyâ€™re able to get rid of anything removable if they were using something removable before. And youâ€™re dealing with something that is going to last forever.