Tooth loss can occur as a result of disease, trauma or poor dental hygiene. The best treatment for tooth loss is to replace the missing tooth. This helps in preventing gum and tooth damage, as well as restoring confidence in social situations. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root used to support tooth replacement structures such as crowns, bridges and dentures. Dental implants help patients regain the ability to eat, speak and smile without the pain and embarrassment of missing teeth.
Dental implants are titanium cylinders that are surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace the roots of the missing tooth. The replacement structure is supported by the implant, and looks and feels like a natural tooth. Implants offer permanent results and full functionality.
Candidates for Dental Implants
Dental implants are recommended for patients in good general and oral health. A certain amount of bone in the jaw is required to support the implant. If the patient does not have enough bone necessary for dental implants, the dentist may recommend bone grafting prior to the procedure.
Dental implants can be used for people who currently wear dentures or have problem teeth. Implants are not recommended for children because their jaw bones are not fully developed and can affect the appearance and function of the implant.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer many benefits over other tooth replacement methods. Implants provide a natural replacement that looks and feels like your own tooth. Since the implants integrate into the bone they act as a natural tooth root, patients can enjoy the same comfort and confidence they experienced before tooth loss.
Implants provide sturdy, long-lasting results by preventing bone loss and gum recession. They do not sacrifice the strength of neighboring teeth like traditional bridges yet they preserve overall tooth health with added strength and reliability.
Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants are placed during a series of appointments over several months. During the first procedure, the titanium anchors are placed into the jaw. Over the next three to six months, the anchors will heal and fuse to the bone, a period known as osseointegration. Small posts are attached to the implant to help provide stability for the replacement tooth. After the anchors heal, the patient is fitted for replacements, which can be installed during the next appointment. Implant surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure under local or general anesthesia.
Depending on the number of missing teeth, tooth replacement options may be:
- Crown to replace one tooth
- Partial bridge to replace several teeth
- Full bridge or full denture to replace all teeth
Some patients may experience minor soreness after the dental implant procedure which can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication.
Dental Implant Results
Patients receive all the benefits of natural teeth with their dental implants The replacement teeth can be treated just like natural teeth and require regular home care and dental visits. It is important to continue good oral hygiene with the implants, to prevent bacteria build-up which can cause gum disease or bone loss.
For more information about the dental implants we use, please click here.