As a biomimetic dentist, my goal is always to preserve as much of your natural dentition as possible, but sometimes a tooth or teeth have reached a point that restoration is not an option. In these cases, an implant is the best option to restore your smile. Implants provide you with a long lasting and natural feeling restoration that avoids cutting into healthy surrounding teeth as is needed with dental bridge work. What is commonly referred to as an implant is actually three different components that come together to create the final restoration.
The first piece is the actual implant. The implant looks a bit like a screw that mimics the roots of a tooth and acts as the anchor that holds everything in place. Implants are made of several different materials, but we exclusively use 100% titanium because of it’s strength and bio-compatibility. We also only use top of the line name brand components that are commonly used throughout the United States and Europe so that no matter where you may live in the future, there will be a dentist nearby who can work on your restoration should there ever be an issue.
The second piece of the implant is the abutment. This is the piece that is screwed into the implant and provides the surface to attach the new porcelain tooth. The abutment can be made of several different materials depending on the particulars of your specific case and what will help us achieve the best results. Abutments come in either standard or custom dimensions. In order to achieve the best aesthetics possible, we typically use only custom fabricated abutments. The reason for this is it gives precise control over the angle and placement of the porcelain crown, so that everything lines up seamlessly and naturally with your existing teeth.
The final component is the implant crown. This is the porcelain tooth or teeth that replaces your missing tooth. The implant crown is created by a local dental lab so that we can communicate with them and make sure you have an ideal outcome. We also use a master ceramicist whenever working on front teeth to ensure great aesthetics. A master ceramicist is basically a tooth artist. They have received extensive training and years of experience to attain their certificate and they have an understanding of oral aesthetics that is unparalleled. Before beginning your treatment we will take several pictures to show color, shading and shape and send these to your master ceramicist. The ceramicist will then use these pictures along with my notes and sometimes a phone conversation to make sure everything comes out as planned and the final results will be so seamless that no one will ever know unless you tell them.
Even though dental implants have been around for many years, I still find that most patients are unfamiliar with them and have many questions. In order to provide you with as much information as possible you will find a list of all the most common implant questions I get on a daily bases from my patients along with my answers. I think this will answer most of your questions, but if there’s anything else you would like to know, please feel free to schedule a smile consult and I will be happy to review your particular case and answer any additional questions you may have.
– Dr Yenile Y. Pinto DDS