Dental Implants

Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures.  Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.

Dental implants are artificial roots (usually titanium) and teeth that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw by a General Dentist or Periodontist - a specialist of the gums and bone that support teeth.  The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!

Dental implants are strong and durable and will last many years.  On occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.

Reasons for dental implants:

  • Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
  • Get rid of a removable partial denture
  • Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
  • Restore a patient’s confident smile.
  • Restore chewing, speech, and improve digestion.
  • Restore or enhance facial tissues.
  • Support a bridge or denture, making it more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?

The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.

X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant.  While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself for three or more months.   Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place a “healing cap" on the implant.

If the implant is being used to replace a tooth, Dr. Rathke will remove the healing cap, and select and attach an "abutment" to the implant.  An impression (mold) is made, so that a replacement tooth can be made that will precisely match the looks and function of your real teeth.

If the implants are being used to secure a denture, then Dr. Rathke will select and place another type of abutment designed to allow the denture to snap securely into place.

You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed.  Good oral hygiene and eating habits, alongside regular dental visits, will aid in the life of your new implant.

There are many variations in ways that implants can improve your quality of life. If you have questions about dental implants or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office.