Dr. Ra believes dental implants are the best choice for most patients; they are long lasting, natural in appearance, and promote jaw health.
One of his highest priorities is ensuring you are comfortable and well informed. He will discuss all options for tooth replacement to help you arrive at the best solution for your individual lifestyle and concerns. Please do not hesitate to voice any questions or concerns you may have.
Since a dental implant is placed directly into the jawbone, it is vitally important that the implant material be body friendly. Dr. Ra begins with biocompatibility testing. Biocompatibility is the capacity of a material to perform a necessary function without causing an undesirable local or systemic reaction in the body. Prior to placing a dental implant, Dr. Ra recommends a simple "materials reactivity" screening process performed by a laboratory – especially for patients with known sensitivities to chemicals and metals. This test helps to ensure that your body will accept the implant, and that bone will fuse with it in a natural process called osseointegration.
In most cases dental implants made of titanium or titanium alloys are a good choice. This material is lightweight, very strong, and resistant to corrosion. Because titanium is considered non-toxic and carries minimal risk of rejection, it has been used in medical applications since the 1950s with great success. However, if your test results show any question in biocompatibility with titanium, Dr. Ra will discuss alternative tooth restoration methods with you.
Advanced 3d Imaging Ensures Success
A key to dental implant safety and success is advanced radiography. Cone beam digital CAT scanning allows us to take 3-Dimensional, high resolution CAT scans of your facial anatomy. We can then view these images from different angles, take precise measurements, and easily share 3-D data with other doctors. A CAT scan ensures that every possible precaution has been made to reduce the risk of involvement of the nerves in the lower jaw, and the sinuses and nose in the upper jaw.
Platelet Rich Fibrin
Faster Healing Bone Grafts Provide a Stable Foundation for ImplantsPlatelet Rich Fibrin
Platelet rich fibrin (PRF) is a by-product of blood that is rich in platelets (cells that help the blood clot & heal). Until recently, it has only been used in hospitals. The cost and large amount of blood associated with separating out the platelets from the blood made it impossible to accomplish anywhere else. Due to new technology, Dr. Ra is now able to cost-effectively harvest and produce the necessary platelets with a small blood draw during outpatient surgery.
Safety: PRF is a by-product of the patient’s own blood, therefore, disease transmission is not an issue.
Convenience: PRF can be generated in the doctor’s office while the patient is undergoing an outpatient surgical procedure such as the placement of dental implants.
Faster healing: The supersaturation of the wound with PRF, and thus the growth factors within the fibrin mesh, produces an increase of tissue synthesis and faster tissue regeneration. The PRF membrane acts like a fibrin bandage, serving as a matrix to accelerate the healing of wound edges.
Cost effectiveness: Since PRF harvesting is done in the doctor’s office, the patient need not incur the expense of the harvesting procedure in hospital or at a blood bank.
Ease of use: PRF is easy to handle and actually improves the ease of application of bone substitute materials and bone grafting products.
Single Dental Implant Procedure
A natural tooth is anchored into the jawbone by its tooth root. Tooth roots attach firmly to the jawbone and keep your teeth stable when chewing solid foods.Single Dental Implant Procedure
Traditionally, if you were missing a tooth or if one needed to be extracted, the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth would be cut down and replaced with a three-unit "bridge."
Dental implants are the modern alternative. Instead of cutting down two perfectly healthy teeth, Dr. Ra inserts a dental implant into the jawbone to replace your missing tooth root. The implant becomes solidly fixed into your jaw bone (osseointegration). Your general dentist then places a crown onto this artificial tooth root that looks, feels, and functions like your natural tooth.
Quite simply, dental implants are the most natural replacement for missing teeth.
Replacing Several Missing TeethReplacing Multiple Missing Teeth
Traditionally, several missing teeth would have been replaced with a removable partial or full denture.
Dentures have to be taken out and soaked at night. During the day, they can also look unnatural and rub painfully. Dentures and partials make it difficult or impossible to eat certain foods.
Dental implants can now be used to anchor partial and full dentures. This prevents the slipping, irritation, and pain associated with "floating" partials and dentures. It also prevents the tedious removal of dentures for overnight soaking and cleaning. Dental implants also eliminate the need for denture adhesives. This allows you to enjoy eating the foods you previously avoided. With dental implants, your partials or dentures are firmly anchored to the jawbone, allowing them to feel much more like natural teeth.
Natural tooth roots and dental implant posts are fixed firmly in your jawbone. When you chew, these tooth roots and posts stimulate the jawbone and prevent it from shrinking. You may have seen a person who looked prematurely old because their jawbone had shrunk after wearing floating dentures. Dental implants help preserve your jawbone and appearance.
The Success Rate of Dental Implants
After their healing period, the success rate of dental implants is between 94% and 98%. If you are a non-smoker with good oral hygiene, the percentage is closer to 98%.
Does the Procedure Hurt?
The discomfort involved with receiving a dental implant is similar to that of having a cavity filled. It is done under local anesthesia and patients generally experience little discomfort after the procedure.
How Long Will Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants become fixed to the jawbone. Though the life span of a dental implant will vary with each patient, many have lasted for over 50 years. With good oral hygiene and regular cleanings, dental implants should last a lifetime. In contrast, the average life span of a traditional fixed bridge is between 10-15 years.
A critical question in determining whether an implant can be placed is, "Is there enough bone to support the implant?" Fortunately, advanced bone regeneration techniques now make it possible to place many more implants than just 10 years ago.