Implants are increasingly a major part of our dental practice. Implants are inserted into the bone to replace a missing tooth root. Once the implant integrates with the bone, we place a post (called an abutment) and a crown to replace the missing tooth crown. So a replacement implant tooth consists of the implant, abutment, and implant crown.
Implants can also be used to replace several missing teeth by creating an implant bridge. Implants can also help stabilize a denture by creation of the implant overdenture. We often team up with Dr. Edward Brant, a Saint James Periodontist who is a specialist in placing implants. We coordinate the treatment plan and treatment, and once the implant is integrated, I take impressions and fit the abutment and implant crown. Mary C, one of our favorite patients, recently called Dr. Brant the “below ground expert” and myself the “above ground expert.” “Above ground” and “below ground” is an apt description of the implant process.
Several patients have asked me about the discount implants that they see advertised. I tell them to stay away from dental bargains: discount implants are often manufactured in China and do not meet U.S. standards; the screws often loosen and these implants have a high failure rate.