implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that
look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth
regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence,
knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be
preserved. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are placed
into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium,
creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can
help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which
occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are
rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy
Dr. Okazaki has received extensive training in Implantology. He has been
certified in the diagnosis and placement of single implants, sinus lifts,
immediate placement single and multiple implants for dentures as well as
regenerative procedures necessary to prepare sites and maintain implants.
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we
ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history.
During these consultation visits, your doctor will address your specific
needs and considerations. Your questions and concerns are important to us
and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a
We will also discuss fees and insurance at this time. There are many types
of insurance plans, and coverage for implants is varied. We will be happy to
assist you in obtaining any benefits to which you may be entitled.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical
procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first
three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface
of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear
temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time,
your dentist is forming new replacement teeth.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr.
Okazaki will uncover the implants and attach small posts (abutments), which will
act as anchors for the artificial teeth. These posts protrude through the
gums. When the artificial teeth are placed these posts will not be seen. The
entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience
minimal disruption in their daily life.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Okazaki
is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a
second procedure to uncover them but do require a minimum of six weeks of
healing time before placing artificial teeth on them. There are even
situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth
extraction further minimizing the number of surgical procedures. Advances in
dental implant technology have made it possible in select cases, to extract
teeth, and place implants with crowns at one visit. This process, called
"immediate loading" greatly simplifies the surgical process.
Who actually performs the implant placement?
Implants are a team effort between an Implantologist and a Restorative
Dentist. While Dr. Okazaki performs the actual implant surgery, and initial
tooth extractions and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist
fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any
temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
What types of prostheses are available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each
prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed
bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three
implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth
in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon
which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A
removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket
attachments, whereas a fixed one is permanent and removable only by the
Why dental implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to
improve you life. When you lose several teeth – whether it's a new situation
or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never
become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.
Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of
Why would you select dental implants over more traditional
types of restorations?
There are several reasons: Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good
teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a "partial" at
night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be
uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
Are you a candidate for implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and
your medical and dental history reviewed. If you mouth is not ideal for
implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be
What type of anesthesia is used?
The majority of dental implants and bone grafts can be performed in the
office under local anesthesia, with or without nitrous oxide.
Do Implants need special care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if
you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the
time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular
appointments with your dental specialists.
Dental Implant Module
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have
integrated the module you see to the right with our website. Many of the
frequently asked questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed. Case
studies, video testimonials, and a printable brochure are also available
through the module.