Dr. Crystel Riggs in Stuart, Fl has taken advanced training in dental Implants to provide her patients options to having missing teeth, loose dentures or even partial dentures. She has completed a mini-residency with the Biomet 3i Implant Continuum, as well as Nobel-Biocare Implants “Teeth-in-a-Day” Training with the Institute for Facial Esthetics.
Dental implants today are becoming the standard for taking care of one or more missing teeth. Rather than drilling down the two adjacent teeth to place a traditional bridge, a single tooth implant offers a conservative long-term solution for our patients. Many of our patients tell us they can’t even tell the difference between an implant tooth or their own natural teeth.
Dental implants are traditionally completed in two phases. The first phase is the surgical placement of the titanium fixture (which looks like a small screw) into the jawbone. This essentially creates a root for the crown to sit on. We work very closely with our local surgeon to select the correct size, angle and location to optimally help our patients enjoy chewing again with a properly placed implant.
The second phase of the process is the restorative phase, in which we often use our Lightwalker® laser to uncover the head of the implant after it has had a few months to integrate into the bone. An impression is taken of the implant and then working closely with our skilled laboratory technicians, we design a custom-made abutment and crown to fit securely over the implant. Because the dental implant is made of titanium and the crown typically is made of porcelain, there is never a concern about a cavity developing or the tooth needing a root canal! Dental Implants are essentially considered by many to be a “permanent” restoration and should last your lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
Typically, this procedure can be done on anybody, but generally speaking the healthier you are the easier the process and healing period will be. Generally speaking, we wouldn’t place an implant on a young teenager, as the bone and the jaw hasn’t fully developed yet, and because of that, it could potentially shift as they got into their later teenage years.
Dental Implants allow us to replace missing or damaged teeth with a natural–looking alternative that will not only look like your own tooth, but also function like a natural tooth in terms of speech, chewing and esthetics. Being able to chew your food properly is often taken for granted until you lose a tooth. Now we have an option to restore that condition.
As mentioned earlier, not all patients are ideal candidates for an implant. If you don’t have enough bone height or width, or density, that could compromise the longevity of the restoration. We can get a 3D conebeam x-ray to evaluate your mouth to see if you qualify for a dental implant.