Dental implants are the most technologically advanced tooth replacement option available to patients who have experienced tooth loss. Consisting of a root-like structure and a prosthetic crown component, the structural completeness of dental implants is the most effective replacement option for both form and function.


Dental Implant Placement

Dr. Ku places the dental implant, which is the small titanium cylinder that functions as the artificial tooth root, in the jaw in a surgical procedure. For the next several months after dental implant placement, the bone tissue in the vicinity will fuse with the implant’s titanium surface. Although dental implant placement does involve surgery, patients are usually able to resume most normal activities within a matter of days.


Dental Implant Restoration

After the dental implant has been osseointegrated, Dr. Ku will fit the patient with the restoration. In some cases, it may be possible to place the restoration at the time of implant placement, as well. Dental implants can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth, so that restoration may be a prosthetic crown, dental bridge or denture. The restorations supported by dental implants are specially designed to fit closely atop the implant. These restorations are made of materials that share many optical qualities with biological tooth enamel, so they look remarkably lifelike.


Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants have a number of benefits and advantages in comparison to conventional appliances. Because they can anchor the jaw in the same way a biological tooth’s root does, the likelihood of jawbone atrophy is much lower with an implant-supported appliance. This means that the jaw and the appliance are more stable over time. Patients with dental implants also can continue to chew a wide variety of foods, even fibrous ones like fresh fruits and vegetables. The connection between the bone and the implant allows for the toleration of stronger chewing forces, so dental implant patients won’t have to eliminate as many items from their diet. Also, because dental implants stand alone without support from neighboring teeth, it is unnecessary to alter surrounding teeth by placing crowns on them.


To learn more about the treatment process and benefits of implant dentistry, call our office and schedule a consultation.

Implant Dentistry FAQ’s

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder that is surgically inserted into a patient’s jaw at the site of a missing tooth. Because titanium is biocompatible, the surrounding bone tissue is able to form a strong bond with the dental implant, and over the course of several months, it becomes integrated into the bone structure. As a permanent fixture in the jaw, a dental implant functions as a pseudo root, which has important functional roles in addition to securing a prosthetic crown, bridge or denture. Dental implants help to preserve the integrity of the remaining jaw bone, which means that the implant-supported appliance will retain its fit over time and the risk of losing the surrounding teeth is reduced when dental implants are in place. In contrast, the jaw will atrophy over the course of time when the missing tooth’s root structure is not replaced, resulting in negative consequences for the patient.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

Dental implants can remain in place for decades under the right circumstances, but in order to benefit from the maximum longevity of this treatment option, patients must be good candidates initially for dental implant placement. Therefore, they must have enough bone at the implant site to support osseointegration. Your provider will take x-rays in order to assess the bone quality at the implant site in your case, which will determine whether you can proceed with dental implant placement. If you have already experienced too much bone loss or have inadequate bone due to congenital issues, you may still be able to get dental implants eventually, but you will likely need an initial bone graft to supplement the tissue at the implant site. This aspect of care will be discussed in greater detail at the initial consultation.

Patients also must be healthy enough to undergo oral surgery and be committed to excellent dental hygiene. Healthy gum tissue is also important to support the dental implant.

How are dental implants placed?

Dr. Ku surgically inserts dental implants into the patient’s jaw at the location where the tooth had been. An incision is made in the gum tissue at the dental implant site, and the dental implant is then placed in a small hole created in the empty socket. If necessary, Dr. Ku can use cone beam CT (computerized tomography) as a guide during surgery for more precise implant placement. After the implant is in place, Dr. Ku will seal the incision. Over the next few months, the bone begins to fuse with the implant. Depending on the design of the implant, an abutment may need to be added after the implant has completely healed. The abutment then connects to the crown, bridge or denture that is supported by the dental implant(s), which are placed in the final step of the treatment process.

How much do dental implants cost?

The cost of dental implants will vary from patient to patient and may depend on the complexity of the case, whether associated procedures (such as bone grafting) are necessary and the extent of any imaging that is necessary. While we cannot provide a single answer to this question, you will be able to get more clarity on the anticipated costs in your case at your initial consultation.


Dr. James Ku DDS | Albuquerque NM Dentist

The Doctor James Ku, D.D.S.

James Ku, D.D.S., a University of Southern California (USC) School of Dentistry graduate, worked at the first New York hospital to receive patients on the morning of 9-11 where he treated patients in emergency and cosmetic facial repair. Dr. Ku was nominated Resident of the Year at his New York City hospital based dentistry program. He was a USC Clinical Faculty Instructor and a staff member of California based Hoag Hospital. Dr. Ku was one of the first USC Clinical Faculty Instructors to teach both Restorative Dentistry and Oral Surgery. The only USC dentist to graduate with formal training in fine arts and painting, Dr. Ku offers patients the benefit of esthetic artistic talent. Dr. Ku’s patients say they appreciate his caring nature, active sense of humor, and exceptional expertise.

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