At the office of Dr. Thomas A. Copulos D.D.S., P.A., we want to help you achieve the smile you have always wanted. We are proud to offer a wide array of implant options to suit any need or budget. Dr. Copulos is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology (ABP) , board certified in both periodontology and in the field of dental implants. This certification means he has additional training and qualifications specific to treating periodontal disease, as well as, experience in the surgical placement of dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

Endosteal or Dental Implants and can be thought of as artificial tooth roots. Similar in size and shape to screws, they are surgically implanted into your jawbone where the tooth is missing or was removed. The implants bond with the natural bone around them, becoming a permanent part of your mouth.

After the implant has bonded, Dr. Copulos will work with your restorative dentist, to choose an abutment that will connect to it and serve as the support for your crown. Crowns are custom made to fit and match the teeth around them. In many cases, crowns are indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

These dental implants are the most common option because of their strength and longevity, but they aren’t always immediately right for every patient. Bone grafting is one opportunity to regenerate bone, so your jawbone is strong enough or broad enough to support the implants. If you are unsure if you would be a suitable candidate for dental implants, talk to Dr. Copulos about your options.

How Are Implants Placed?

The entire process of getting dental implants can range from several months to over a year, depending on the complexity of your needs. The following is what you can generally expect during the process of getting dental implants:

Initial exam

Dr. Copulos will need to thoroughly examine your mouth to see where the implants are required, and if any teeth will need to be extracted. This exam may include radiographs (x-rays) or an     in-office Conebeam Catscan to obtain a complete picture of your teeth and jaw. Afterward, he will be able to discuss what your options are and the costs they carry.

Implant placement

Placement of implants can occur during the same appointment as your tooth extraction. However, you also have the option of having these procedures completed on different days, if you wish. During placement of the implant, local anesthesia or oral sedation can be used to ensure your comfort. Bone grafting will be applied if necessary to assure that your implant has adequate support. You can expect some moderate swelling and bruising, and minor bleeding and pain; however, most patients fully manage this with over the counter pain medication.

Osseointegration

After Dr. Copulos places the implant, your jawbone will begin to heal and form a permanent bond with it, called osseointegration. This process may take several months, and you may be placed on a soft foods diet for the first few weeks to minimize pain and increase healing. After the initial healing from the surgery, the remainder of this process should be pain-free. We may even be able to place a temporary tooth while you wait for the implant to take hold firmly.

Abutment placement

Sometimes, we do this at the same time as the dental implant surgery. Typically, this may be done once the implant has fully fused with your jawbone, by your dentist. This small connector is attached to the implant in preparation for your final crown.

Custom-make and attach crowns

Once your gums have healed from the placement of the abutment, your dentist will take molds of your remaining teeth. The molds ensure your artificial teeth will fit and match perfectly. Depending on the extent of your needs, these new teeth may be individual crowns, an implant-supported bridge, or multiple replacement teeth. After they are custom made for you, they will be attached to the abutment.

Implant Maintenance

Just like your natural teeth, dental implants require proper home care and routine visits to your restorative office and Dr. Copulos office. At home, brushing, flossing, using a waterpik and other tools given to you by your doctor are important for daily cleaning around the dental implant and crown. We highly recommend a professional dental implant maintenance every three months to ensure proper health around your new implant supported tooth, alternating between our office and your restorative dentist’s office.

Don’t hesitate to contact us at (561) 338-7115 if you have any questions about dental implants, or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you get the smile that you’ve always dreamed of.