Dental Implants

A missing tooth is often perceived as an aesthetic concern, but it is important to understand that it is a health concern as well. Healthy teeth play an essential role in the body from head to toe. If even one tooth is missing, you can struggle with jawbone deterioration, declining self-esteem, and the inability to correctly digest your diet. All of these instances work to negatively affect your entire body’s overall health and should be avoided at all costs. At Rivers Oral Facial and Implant Surgery, we offer dental implants that look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. We look forward to helping you discover the many benefits of dental implants. Keep reading or call now to learn more!


  • A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts.
  • Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw.
  • The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints.
  • When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.
  • Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.
  • A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment.
  • In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.


Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Rice and Dr. Kirkpatrick are often able to place single stage implants. These implants often do not require a second procedure to uncover them before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.


Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. Dr. Rice and Dr. Kirkpatrick perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent crown. Your dentist will also make any temporary crown needed during the implant process.