What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.

Dental implants are artificial roots (usually titanium or titanium alloy) that are placed into the jaw bone by a dentist with implant surgical training. After the implants are placed, it takes about two to four months for the bone attach to the implant surface. The implant then becomes permanently anchored to the bone. The replacement teeth are then attached to implants and function in a manner almost identical to the natural teeth. These teeth are very natural looking and will enhance and restore a patient’s smile!

Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.

Dr. Witty does dental implants from start to finish, rarely do we have to refer our patients out for part of the implant process.


What Does it Involve?

Reasons for Dental Implants:

  • Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
  • Restore function: chewing and speech.
  • Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
  • Support a bridge or a denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
  • Restore a patient’s confident smile.
  • Restore or enhance facial tissues.

The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.

X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. If adequate supporting tissues are present, the area is numbed then the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time. If augmentation to the area is required, such as hard and soft tissue grafting, extra time is required for healing prior to the placement of the implants.

After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete. After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.

You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.

Is an Implant Right for You?

Steamboat Dental Center places different implant systems based on your diagnosis. Dr. Witty has completed additional certification related to dental implants. Come see why Steamboat Dental Center is a top implant provider in the Steamboat Springs area.