Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. With implants, the person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved.
Ready to restore your smile? Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!
What are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.
Dental implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
The Dental Implants Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your dentist is forming new replacement teeth.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Howerton, Dr. Hopkin, Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Clark will uncover the implants and attach small posts that protrude through the gums and will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily lives.
Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
Surgical Advances in Dental Implants
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Drs. Howerton, Hopkin, Kennedy and Clark are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.
Dental Implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While Drs. Howerton, Hopkin, Kennedy and Clark performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
What types of prostheses are available?
- A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant.
- A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants.
- A complete dental prosthesis replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended.
- A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments
- A fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Drs. Howerton, Hopkin, Kennedy and Clark perform in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip, or tibia.
Why Dental Implants?
When you lose several teeth – whether it is a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself. Dental implants have been in use for over 40 years. They have opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.
Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types of Restorations?
There are several reasons: Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient. Dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
Are you a candidate for dental implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
What Type of Anesthesia is Used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without general anesthesia.
Do dental implants need special care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.
Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!
Patient Reviews for Dental Implants
Drs. Howerton, Hopkin, Kennedy and Clark, LLC
Many thanks to Dr. Kennedy and his wonderful staff at OMS. They are very professional in each aspect of their service, from the front desk, to each clinical staff member. Every staff member went out of their way in a kind and friendly manner to make sure that I received the proper care needed for my procedures to remove a very painful fractured tooth and prepare a bone graft with resulting implant. Every step of the process was explained by Dr. Kennedy or his staff to assure that I understood, and was comfortable, with what they were going to do. Dr. Kennedy's approach instantly puts you at ease during a painful experience. During the implant procedure, Ruby was excellent all along the way. As an RN for many years, I was interested to observe the sterile technique that the staff used to prepare me for the surgical implant. It was perfect. The follow up calls, appointments and attention to the healing process of the implant by Dr. Kennedy was very reassuring. I did not have any complications. The Albany facility is immaculate with state of the art equipment. You can be assured of the highest quality dental surgery care by the OMS team.
- Elaine G
Excellent experience with very first implant. Care was very good and there were no problems. 10 out of 10 would do it again.
- Patrick S
The thought of a dental implant scared me to death. I have had a lot of dental work done and some of it has been painful and unpleasant. However, the staff and Dr. Hopkin immediately gave me confidence and put me at ease. There was in depth explanation about what would occur and I felt a part of the team. Dr. Hopkin has a very nice manner and also gave me a lot of confidence. Each staff member treated me with courtesy, friendliness, helpfulness and efficiency. I have recommended him and his office to many friends and will continue to do so. Thanks, Dr. Hopkin and staff in the Salem office.
- Crystal O
Staff was friendly and office looks great. Dr was friendly and very informative!
- Suzie C
Wow, I came in with a lot of apprehension but left with an implant and confidence that "tender loving care" attitudes help in healing. We appreciated the complete directions for post surgery care. Thank you.
- Charles S
Dr. Kennedy was so efficient in my two implant surgeries that I felt they were just done in a few minutes though maybe less than half an hour - less stressful or anxious on my side.
- Jinxiang R
People that think they need to leave Albany for their dental surgery must not know about your excellent facility right here in town. Another huge asset to Albany is Dr. Joel Hopkin, This man has to be one of the greatest surgeons in America. After visiting another facility I was petrified to have any work preformed. Then after a short consultation with Dr. Hopkin I felt at ease and completely comfortable for him to proceed with my surgery. My situation was not run of the mill and as far as I am concerned he pulled a rabbit out of his hat. My dental work is almost finished with Dr. Hopkin and he will always be my hero.
- Brad H
Dr. Hopkin was very kind and considerate regarding the problems I have had with local Anesthetics. I have had two implants and two extractions done by him - he is an excellent surgeon and I have had no problems during surgery or recovery. He always calls to check and see how things are going. I highly recommend him to anyone interested in a implant placement.
- Rebecca S