Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.
The benefits dental implants have over fixed bridgework are two-fold. First, an implant replacement of a missing tooth does NOT involve the preparation of adjacent teeth to receive crowns. An untouched tooth is a happy tooth. Secondly, an implant is much like the root of a natural tooth, in that it will keep the bone around it healthy when kept clean and used for chewing. The pressure of chewing stimulates the bone supporting the implant and helps prevent its atrophy (or wasting away) which DOES happen over time after a tooth is removed and not replaced.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist, usually an Oral Surgeon. The artificial teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile.
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear. Although the bacteria that cause tooth decay have no effect on the titanium implant and articial teeth, the bacteria that cause periodontal disease absolutely do jeopardize the long term success of this type of restoration. Patients with uncontrolled periodontal disease, smokers, and certain other patients are not ideal candidates for dental implants. This is always discussed with you at our office and by an oral surgeon before considering such treatment.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months.
After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the implant. The artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.