OHSU

Dental Implants

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge.

Do I need a dental implant?

If you have lost a tooth or teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease or an injury, your dentist or periodontist may suggest a tooth implant.

How do I know if a dental implant is right for me?

The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health, with healthy gum tissue and enough bone in your jaw to support the implant

What happens during a dental implant?

  • Depending on your specific condition and the type of implant chosen, your periodontist will create a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs. In most cases the implant is placed in one appointment in the dentist or periodontist’s office.
  • There are different kinds of dental implants and procedures. They include:
  • Replacing a Single Tooth If you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it.
  • Replacing Several Teeth If you are missing several teeth, implant-supported bridges can replace them.
  • Replacing All of Your Teeth If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported full bridge or full denture can replace them.
  • Sinus Augmentation A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the sinus. Sinus augmentation can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants.
  • Ridge Modification Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the bony defect. The defect is then filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the ridge. Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come.

What can I expect after receiving a dental implant?

  • Dental implants are like your own teeth and will require the same care.
  • In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply.
  • Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy.