Dental Implants

What are dental implants?

Video Transcription

It can be a devastating thing for people when they're missing a tooth or multiple teeth. It's very embarrassing. So when they come to see us, we're able to do dental implants. We're able to restore their smile back to exactly the way it was. So there are three parts to a dental implant restoration. First part is the dental implant itself, the abutment and the crown. So in order to get the best possible functional and aesthetic outcome, it requires a multidisciplinary approach. Our job is the surgeons is to remove teeth if necessary, place the implant and/or bone grafting in order to lay the foundation for proper positioning of the implant. Our staff is highly trained and they have a lot of experience and they take pride in making our patients comfortable to have an overall amazing experience. My partner and I at Arkansas Oral And Maxillofacial Surgeons have placed thousands and thousands of implants and perform thousands of bone grafting procedures. And we have the experience and the expertise to give you the best possible opportunity to get the best outcome. I chose them because someone had told me about them because I was looking to have implants done. I called him, set up an appointment with Dr. Praetzel, and I came over here and it just went from there. They did a perfect job on it. And they explained everything as it was done or what was going to the procedure was going to be. What I love most about my new implants is being able to smile, being able to smile anytime I want to or being able to laugh. You just it's kind of like when I ride my Harley, I feel free, a free, free with my mouth because I've had a problem as a kid and stuff and nobody should have to go through a lot of the pain that I went through. But Dr. Praetzel fixed me up, and I'm forever grateful.


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.

Dental Implant Illustration
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.

Surgical Advances in Dental Implants

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Praetzel and Dr. Baldwin are 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 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.  Drs. Praetzel or Baldwin performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary.  The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.

“Don’t be afraid to Smile.”

For years I’d felt like a part of my body was missing — because my teeth were. My dentist told me that dental implants would make me feel and look a lot better. OK, I said. Now, I’m thrilled. I can smile, eat anything, and enjoy a good laugh with my friends.