About Dental Implants

about dental implants

Tucson Periodontist & Dental Implant Specialist Dr. Brien Harvey

Tucson Implant Dentistry X-Ray

If you have a missing tooth – or a tooth that needs to be removed – utilizing a dental implant to replace this tooth likely will be your best option. Dental implants allow us to replace teeth without damaging adjacent teeth and/or increasing the risk of the adjacent teeth having problems such as fracturing or decay (cavity formation). And, if our patients take the time to keep their implants clean by brushing and flossing, thereby keeping the gums healthy and avoiding bone loss, we expect implants to last a lifetime.

In essence, a dental implant is best thought of as a replacement for the root of the missing tooth. Dr. Harvey uses pure titanium implants, and is fond of telling his patients that “human bone recognizes titanium as bone.” This means that, over time, the jaw bone fuses directly to the surface of the implant, and over a 2- to 3-month period, the implant becomes part of the bone. Once the implant is securely and strongly healed in the bone, your dentist will take an impression of the implant to allow fabrication of a custom abutment and a crown (see the next section, “Implant Crowns” for a description of this process, along with photos).

Dental implants also are the treatment of choice when a patient is missing more than one tooth, as utilizing dental implants can allow a patient to avoid the need for a removable partial denture. When a patient is missing all of his/her teeth – either upper or lower or both – utilizing two implants for a removable denture to snap onto securely will dramatically improve the functional status of a complete denture, particularly in the lower arch where unsupported dentures tend to “float.” For patients who want to transition from a complete denture to a non-removable full-arch bridge we generally use 4-6 implants.

Back to top

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It has been my honor and privilege to serve my community, and to serve my profession, this last 37+ years.

I am thrilled to share some really exciting news. Following an exhaustive nationwide search and a super positive transition process over last year, Dr. Abhi Patel will be assuming control of the office starting March 1st, 2024. I will be reducing my schedule and will be seeing patients on a part-time basis.

The team and I are thrilled to have Dr. Patel with us and we are looking forward to continuing to
provide exceptional care of our patients. In all of my interactions, Dr. Patel has demonstrated the honesty, integrity and dedication necessary to be an exceptional periodontist. He is extremely competent and caring, and has the passion and skills to deliver high quality, evidence-based care. I trust him to take care of you and I believe he will be a valuable asset to our community.

Dr. Patel is a board-certified Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and Implantology. He is highly trained recognized leader in periodontics and implantology, having been an educator and researcher who has published many articles in international peer-reviewed journals. He was awarded the prestigious “Outstanding Educator Award” by the American Academy of Periodontology for his mentoring and scientific research. He serves as a committee member for the Academy of Osseointegration. Dr. Patel brings a wealth of knowledge and a superior skillset that will assure exceptional outcomes for our patients. Dr. Patel and I, along with our extraordinary team, are looking forward to continuing to provide what you have come to expect from our practice: unparalleled patient service and clinical excellence. The team has been actively involved in the transition process from the beginning, and they are remaining in place. We will all be here to assist Dr. Patel with your care.

I hope you will join me in welcoming Dr. Patel to our practice. Thank you again for your loyalty and confidence over this last (almost) four decades.

Warmest regards,
Dr. Brien Harvey

This will close in 60 seconds