What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the modern answer to addressing the issue of missing teeth. While dentures and bridges are also available to address this issue, dental implants represent the optimal solution for tooth loss. Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants provide a strong foundation for natural-looking replacement teeth. If you have suffered tooth loss as a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, or tooth trauma, you may be wondering whether or not you would be an ideal candidate for dental implants.
Dental implants have many advantages including improving self-esteem and oral health, providing durability, and being convenient. Since dental implants do not need to modify existing teeth in order to fit, they will allow remaining teeth to remain intact. Also, they provide easier access between individual teeth, ensuring that they can be properly cleaned. Dental implants are also extremely durable and will last many years, maybe even a lifetime. They also remain in your mouth at all times, so you do not have to remove them and worry about losing or damaging them, or about needing to use adhesives to keep them in place. Most dental implants have a high success rate and many individuals report being highly satisfied with their dental implants.
Ideal candidates for dental implants are those individuals who have experienced tooth loss and who are healthy enough to undergo oral surgery. In addition, their gums will need to be in good condition and they will need to have enough bone mass within the jaw to properly support the implant. If they are lacking in bone mass, a bone graft may be needed. Individuals with diabetes, heart disease, or who smoke or have had radiation therapy to their head or neck area need to have special considerations when thinking about undergoing this procedure.
The Two Part Dental Implant Procedure.
The dental implant procedure is usually performed in two parts. In the first part, the root implant is inserted into the jaw bone. During this first procedure, holes are drilled into the bone where the implant root will sit. Then the implant root will be inserted into the jawbone and the gums will be stitched up. After the first part of the procedure, the patient will undergo approximately six months of osseointegration.
Osseointegration refers to the process of bone growth around the implant root. This process is essential because it ensures that the implant is deeply embedded within the jawbone, appropriately provide an anchor for the replacement tooth. Once osseointegration has occurred, the second part of the procedure can be performed.
During this second part, an abutment, or connector post, is attached to the implant root. This abutment will provide a means in which to attach the replacement tooth. Replacement teeth are custom made by taking a mold of your mouth and designing the fake teeth to look like your real teeth. These replacement teeth, or crowns, are then attached to the abutment and the dental implant procedure is complete.
If you believe you are a good candidate for dental implants, or you simply would like more information about the process, schedule a consultation today and let us help you find your perfect smile!