Dental Implant Overview

What Are Dental Implants?

Natural teeth consist of roots and crowns. If you compare natural teeth to dental implants, you will see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the part of the tooth we can see, and what we use to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely into the jaw. The difference here is that the dental implant is made of titanium – the same material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown, so to replace it, Dr. Cristoforo must first replace the root with a small dental implant.

After some time has passed for the surgical site to heal and for bone to grown around the dental implant, a support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top.

Surgical Advances

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Cristoforo is able to place single stage dental implants on certain candidates. These dental implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but still do require approximately three months of healing before artificial teeth are placed. There are even some clinical situations where the dental implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction, further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.

Dental implant placement is a team effort between a periodontist and a restorative dentist. Dr. Cristoforo will perform the initial tooth extractions, the actual dental implant surgery, and bone grafting if necessary. Your general dentist will make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process, as well as fit and craft the permanent prosthesis