With today’s state-of-the-art technology, the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (OMS) has available to him computerized surgical planning, custom prosthesis design, robotics, and patient specific rehabilitation. That means the OMS can optimize goal-directed care for any number of complex conditions, and is supremely qualified to install dental implants.

Dental implants are the modern state-of-the art approach to replacing missing teeth, it’s considered a surgical procedure because implanting them traditionally requires cutting open the gums and exposing the bone.  Whether you are missing a single tooth or many of your teeth, dental implants provide the durability, stability and strength that endures for decades. Implants perform almost like your natural teeth. And when dental implants are truly affordable, as they are in Costa Rica, it’s a “can’t lose” solution.

Tooth loss can be a traumatizing event.  When teeth are gone, the bone immediately begins to dissolve and shrink, both horizontally and vertically. This causes loss of support and stability for a removable denture.  But even worse, as bone loss increases, support for the mouth and face is compromised, and the negative effect on facial esthetics, speech, self-esteem, and even nutrition and overall health cannot be overstated.  That is why the gold standard now is dental implants, because they provide the ridge of bone that holds your teeth with continued stimulation, just like natural tooth roots, keeping the bone healthy and whole, and thus preventing features from sagging and shifting, causing that old-age sunken-in appearance, like a witch’s chin.

During dental implant surgery, a hole is drilled into the bone of the jaw. The hole must be placed at the most ideal location, drilled at a precise 90-degree angle to the jawbone, and drilled to the exact depth specified by the manufacturer.

In order to achieve the precision needed, most dentists cut the gums away from the bone to judge exactly where to drill, and to clearly see the angle and depth.  Beyond that, the precision is entirely determined by the visual and manual skill of the dentist. While most experienced dentists are very good at making these judgments, some implants are inserted improperly, which can cause problems later on.

After the surgery, the gums are closed with sutures that may remain in the mouth for a week or so as the swelling reduces and the gums heal.

Surgical guides can take the guesswork out of the equation.  These small, custom-made dental devices are designed using digital images from 3D CT scan X-rays that show the structures of the mouth that are ordinarily invisible.  Using this 3D model, the surgical guide is manufactured to fit the patient’s teeth and jaw with precision openings exactly in the optimal sites for the implants. A rigid sleeve is inserted to control the angle and depth of the drill, ensuring accuracy, all without cutting the gums.

Once inserted, the dental implants start a process called osseointegration, in which they become fused with the jawbone during the next four to six months. Osseointegration is what gives the implants their strength, durability, and stability. They literally become part of your jawbone.

During the finish work, an abutment is fastened to the top of the implant, and the crown is placed on top of the abutment (this can also be a single unit).  You may have a single crown, or a bridge with several replacements, or in the case of restoration systems like All-on-4, a complete arch.

The procedure will change your life for the better. For rest of your life, you’ll be able to eat whatever you want, smile and laugh with confidence, and look at yourself in the mirror with pride.  With proper maintenance and oral hygiene, your new teeth can last a lifetime.

If you are interested in dental implant surgery in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.