Questions and Answers regarding Dental Implant Treatment:
A dental implant is a small screw made of titanium, which is a metal that the body easily accepts. The dental implant is inserted into the bone of the jaw, and over time the jawbone integrates with the implant surface, firmly anchoring it with the bone. Dr. Armijo likes to allow the implant to heal and integrate for 3-4 months and after that time a crown, bridge, or denture is secured to the implant(s). This procedure avoids the need for plastic teeth that come out at night or for a bridge, which requires altering the adjacent teeth that might be in good condition, to accommodate the bridge.
Virtually any adult who has broken or lost a tooth is a good candidate for dental implants. It could be due to a car accident, a sports injury, or an infection – such as periodontal disease – in which the tooth or teeth could not be saved or restored. Implants are generally not appropriate for children or growing adolescents as implants would interfere with the growth of the jaw.
As with any surgical procedures, complications can occur. Poor home care, periodontal disease that is not maintained, smoking, and simply not seeing your dental Hygienist are reasons for failure with a dental implant. Rarely, your body will reject the implant(s) in which case we simply remove it, again this rarely happens but we like our patients to know all possible risks.
Just like natural teeth, implants require regular check-ups and conscientious oral hygiene. Much of the success of dental implant treatment depends on keeping your new teeth clean and plaque-free. We have many home care aids that can help you keep the implant(s) and dental restorations clean. We can share those with you at your dental appointment. A Water Pik is a great home-care tool as well and can be purchased at Wal Mart or Walgreens. Just make sure to use the water pik at a 45 degree angle and on a low setting, just to maintain gum health.
Dr. Armijo can perform many dental implant procedures in-office with the Galileos State-of-the-Art low dosage 3D x-ray imaging computer. This computer/x-ray machine takes over 700 images of the patient and creates a 3D image to make sure that the patient is a good candidate for Implants. Impressions are taken of your mouth and scanned into our CAD/CAM CEREC Computer system, these impressions and the digital x-rays are sent to Germany where a company called Sirona makes a surgical guide. These technologies integrate to determine the EXACT place for the implant and crown. There is NO guesswork involved. Everything is figured out on a computer monitor virtually well before the surgery is to take place.
Since dental implants are usually inserted under local anesthesia, you should not feel anything during the procedure. Our patients have informed us that the pain is minimal the next day after the implant(s) have been placed.
As always, please call our office (505) 884-1989 if you have any questions or concerns whatsoever. We are always happy to serve you and can provide a complimentary consult for Dental Implants or any dental procedure.