Periodontal Associates
1517 Mall Dr.
Iowa City, IA 52240
E-mail us
Dr. Borgwardt: (319) 337-3588
Dr. Romanowski: (319) 337-5752
Fax: (319) 351-8348
Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Dental Implants are an artificial tooth root that is placed in the jaw to serve as a foundation for a replacement tooth that looks, functions, and feels like a natural tooth.  Modern implants have a very high success rate and preserve the integrity of the surrounding teeth, bone, and gum tissue.  Implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple teeth, to replace all teeth, or used to stabilize a loose denture.  In many cases, an implant-supported restoration is unmatched in regards to chewing function and esthetic appeal.



Single Tooth Replacement

 


Multiple Tooth Replacement

 


Complete Tooth Replacement

 


Denture Stabilization

  Images Courtesy of Astra Tech

Benefits of Dental Implants

 Images courtesy of Straumann USA, LLC, its parents, affiliates or subsidiaries.© Straumann USA LLC, all rights reserved.
Tooth-saving: One of the main benefits of dental implants is that unlike other tooth replacement options, they do not rely upon the neighboring teeth for support and thus do not alter the surrounding teeth.  Other replacement options, such as a bridge, require shaving down the teeth adjacent to a missing tooth to serve as anchors for the replacement tooth.

Esthetic: Dental implants help maintain the shape of the surrounding bone and gum tissue leading to a natural appearing replacement tooth. 

Stability:  Dental implants offer a "fixed" option meaning they feel and function like normal teeth.  Unlike removable partials or dentures, implants are fused in the mouth and do not move.

Longevity:  Dental implants are highly predictable, and research is available supporting the long-term success of implant restorations.  While a bridge is an excellent option in many cases depending on the condition of the surrounding teeth, problems (cavity, fractures, infection, etc) with just one of the teeth involved in the bridge can cause the entire bridge to fail.  Research looking at failure rates for bridges at 10 years range from 16% (Napangangas 2002 Journal of Oral Rehabilitation) to 35% (Fayed 1996 Journal of Oral Rehabilitation).  Dental implants, on the other hand, exhibit a 97% success rate at 10 years (Priest 1999 International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants).  With proper care, dental implant restorations are typically a permanent solution.

Financial:  While the short-term cost of an implant restoration is typically more expensive than other tooth replacement options, studies have shown that it is actually less expensive in the long-term due to the need for replacement or repair of many bridges.  A study looking at the long-term cost effectiveness of a bridge versus an implant found that the costs "break even" at 7 years, and at 30 years the total cost of a bridge restoration is nearly double that of an implant  (Priest 2004 Dental Economics)

What exactly does an implant consist of?

 The entire implant restoration essentially consists of 3 pieces:  The term implant refers to a titanium "screw" that is placed in the jaw, and actually fuses to the bone.  An "abutment" is then screwed into the implant and acts as a post that protrudes through the gum tissue and supports the overlying "crown" or tooth.  If implants are being used to stabilize a complete denture, the denture fits over the top of the implants and "snaps" into place with a "bar" or "ball-in-socket" attachment.  The complete implant restoration is completed via a team approach with the periodontist or surgeon who surgically places the "implant" and your regular dentist or prosthodontist who places the crown, bridge, or denture on the implant(s).


Images Courtesy of Astra Tech

How does the process work?

In most cases, the implant is placed in a minor one-stage surgery.  After the implant is placed, it generally takes 6-8 weeks for the bone and tissue to attach to the implant sufficiently for the final crown fabrication.  
In some cases, the implant can be placed at the same appointment as the tooth extraction.  This depends on a number of factors including the size of the tooth that was extracted, and the quantity and quality of bone in the area where the implant will be placed.  Your periodontist will extract the tooth gently and atraumatically to preserve the integrity of the bone.  If an immediate implant is not an option in your particular case, the implant is typically placed 8-12 weeks after tooth extraction.  

Who is a candidate for implants?

With current surgical techniques, virtually any patient is a candidate for dental implant therapy.  In some cases, insufficient bone may be available for implant placement and bone grafting or sinus floor augmentation may be necessary to improve your final result.  The procedures are typically minor and can often be completed at the same time as implant placement, reducing the number of appointments.

Do you put me to sleep for this procedure?

Dental implant placement is actually much less invasive than it sounds, and the majority of patients elect to have just local anesthesia (numbing medicine) for the implant placement.  IV sedation is available in-office, however, for those who would prefer it.  Your periodontist would be happy to discuss sedation with you, and click here to learn more.

Implant surgery performed by Dr. Derek Borgwardt DDS, MS