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Dental Implant Technology

Tooth loss affects millions of Americans. Conventional tooth replacement methods, such as bridges and dentures, are not always the answer for many people due to the frustration and embarrassment created by poor fit or maintenance problems.

Dental implants provide a number of benefits for people seeking alternatives and solutions to the problems created by tooth loss. These benefits include:

  • Renewed ability to chew and speak properly
  • Restoration of facial aesthetics
  • Preservation of remaining jaw bone structure
  • Reduction of possible gum problems and infections
  • Increased confidence and self-esteem as a result of all of the above

The Implant Team

Success with dental implants is achieved through working with a team of professionals. The skills of the restorative dentist and oral and maxillofacial surgeon combine to establish an integrated treatment plan that will provide efficient and effective care and ensure optimum function.

The Three Stages of Implant Surgery

Stage I- Placing the Anchor Screws
The first surgery involves the placing of anchors into the jaw bone. These anchors are usually make of the metal Titanium which, through a process called "osseointegration," forms a biological bond with the living bone. During this "same day" surgery, the patient will be sedated and then given anesthesia. The procedure may take several hours. After surgery, home care instructions will be given along with prescriptions for an antibiotic and pain medication. The osseointegration process will take from three to six months. Routine follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor healing.

Stage II- Attaching the Abutment Connectors
The second surgery in the implant process will place the abutments, or connectors, onto the anchors. This is done when osseointegration is complete and the anchors are firmly held in the jaw bone. Stage II surgery is much shorter, usually taking less than an hour. It ordinarily takes a few days for the gums to heal once the abutments are in place. A follow-up visit will be scheduled a few days after surgery to make sure the gums are healing properly.

Stage III- Making Your New Teeth
The final phase is the actual mounting or loading of the artificial teeth onto the abutment posts, a precision process that requires meticulous attention to detail by the restorative dentist.

Successful dental implants depend on the contribution of each member of the team. The surgeon prepares the jaw and installs the implants, the restorative dentist makes and fits the prostheses, and most importantly, the patient provides the commitment and discipline necessary for the long-term maintenance of the new teeth.

Dr. Piper and Dental Implants

Dr. Piper offers comprehensive services in the evaluation and placement of dental implants. As the surgical specialist of the implant team, he is committed to the highest standard of patient care.

Dr. Piper's facilities include two fully equipped surgical suites featuring state of the art technology. All details, from X-rays and study models, to postoperative care, are managed in the comfortable office in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Piper Implant Team includes an implant coordinator who makes sure from the first visit that all implant patients are well-informed and comfortable with the procedures they are experiencing. The staff sees to it that the other dentists involved with the care are kept informed of the patient status as the process unfolds. This timely communication assures that the patient is healed and ready for the replacement teeth.
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