Dentistry is the known evaluation, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the soft and hard tissues of the jaw (mandible), the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent.
An Interview with Dr. Rachel H. Davis on Dental Implants
Dr. Rachel H. Davis is a dentist and has answered some of the common questions Bizymoms visitors have about Dental Implants.
Q. What are dental implants?
A. A dental implant is a substitute or replacement of a tooth root that provides a stable foundation for a replacement tooth and/or crown. The implant is firmly anchored into the jawbone providing the same stability as natural teeth.
Q. What are the benefits of dental implants?
A. Before dental implants, the choices for tooth replacement were very limited with two basic procedures. The first is a bridge, where teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared for crowns, and a bridge is cemented to replace the missing tooth. This procedure would sometimes call for prepping teeth that have no other problem but a missing tooth next to it. The second option is a removable partial which can be very irritating to wear, since the patient must take their teeth out after eating and before bed. A dental implant will replace missing teeth without damaging other teeth. Dental implants can also make wearing a denture or partial more tolerable or totally replace the need for dentures. Our full arch options make it easier for patients to enjoy life again and eat and speak without worrying if the denture will become dislodged.
Q. How long does an implant last?
A. If the implant is properly cared for, they can last a lifetime. We recommend visiting our office every six months for routine cleanings, x-rays and checkups so we can catch problems with implants before they even happen.
Q. What are implants made of?
A. Implants are made of titanium which is an inert lightweight metal. Titanium is not only used in the dental field but also in the medical field because it effectively bonds with a person’s bone by a process called osseointegration.
Q. Who is a candidate for implants?
A. Almost anyone can have an implant to replace a missing tooth. The most ideal patient is someone who is in good health and has proper oral home care (brushing, flossing and mouth rinses). Patients that have poor overall health (unstable diabetes, immune system disorders) as well as smokers are less likely to have an implant placed successfully. We often obtain consults from physicians to verify a patient’s health.
Q. How are dental implants placed?
A. The implant placement is simple and we can perform the treatment with just local anesthesia or for the more anxious patients, we offer nitrous oxide or conscious sedation; where a patient "sleeps" through their dental appointment and has virtually no memory of the procedure the following day. The implant body is placed in the patient’s jaw bone similarly to a screw and is allowed to osseointegrate for 3-6 months. After the implant is successfully integrated into the bone, it is exposed and an abutment is placed so that a crown can be constructed to replace the missing tooth structure. An impression is taken and sent to the lab and then the final crown is delivered.
Q. How long does it take?
A. The whole process can take from 3 months up to one year depending on the complexity of the case and where the implant is placed. Temporary crown replacement can be done throughout the whole process so the patient doesn’t have to function without a tooth.
Q. How to contact Dr. Davis if we have further questions?
902 Dupont Road, Suite 200
Louisville, KY 40205
Phone: (502) 895-8577
Fax: (502) 895-5277