Dental implants are an excellent solution to replace missing teeth. Often times the implants may eliminate the need for a removable partial denture.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually constructed of titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by an oral surgeon or periodontist. The teeth that are attached to implants are very natural looking, and often enhance or restore an individual's smile.
Dental implants are strong and durable and should last for many years. On occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced.
Indications for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting the structure of 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 partial denture, making it more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting an implant requires a number of office 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 anesthetized, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone by an oral surgeon or periodontist and allowed to heal and integrate for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. With other implant systems, the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.
After several weeks of healing, your dentist will create the artificial tooth/teeth which will then be fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete. After the healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
You will receive care instructions throughout the course of treatment. Excellent oral hygiene and good eating habits, along with regular dental visits, will aid in the life of your new implant.