Dental implants are the permanent way to replace missing teeth, with a look and feel that’s very close to your natural teeth. Implants are metal posts or frames surgically placed into the bone beneath your gums. The implants fuse with the jawbone providing stable support to artificial teeth, preventing individual teeth, bridges or dentures from shifting in your mouth. They are a high-tech way to replace missing teeth and offer more stability than traditional bridgework since they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support.
Implant supported teeth provide a wide variety of benefits. Firstly, they allow you to speak, smile and eat with confidence. Furthermore, they are comfortable and stay in place. Not only that, but they function, look and feel like natural teeth. Lastly, dental implants do not need adjacent teeth for support.
Implant treatment is usually performed by a general dentist, oral surgeon, prosthodontist, periodontist, or a team of these doctors. To devise the best treatment plan for you, we first complete a medical and dental history and a thorough oral examination with x-rays. First, a member of your team surgically places the implant in the jaw with the top of the implant just above the top of the bone. Generally, from three to six months or more is allowed for the bone tissue to grow around the implant and hold them securely in place.
Immediately after surgery we will give you specific post-surgical instructions to assure the best possible healing. In addition, we may prescribe pain medication and in some cases antibiotics to aid in the healing process and help alleviate any discomfort. At this time, you may be fitted with temporary dentures or natural-looking teeth to help you function as normally as possible. You will need to follow important dietary and oral hygiene instructions.
Once the jawbone has firmly healed around the implant, a small post is attached to each implant. The post protrudes through the gumline and serves as an anchor for the replacement tooth. After your gums have fully healed, the replacement teeth or dentures are securely attached to the posts.
Since dental implants are designed to fit the structure of your natural teeth, they provide a highly stable support to do a variety of things. For instance, they can replace one or more teeth without affecting adjacent teeth. They also support bridges and eliminate the need for a removable partial denture. Lastly, they provide support for a denture, making it more secure and comfortable.
Other benefits that dental implants provide are improved biting pressure. Healthy teeth are able to absorb over 500 pounds of biting pressure per square inch. Dental implants can often restore the amount of pressure that can be withstood compared to the same level of healthy natural teeth. Furthermore, they are comfortable and tooth-saving. Because your replacement teeth are securely anchored to your jawbone, they can’t slip or slide like unsecured dentures can. Dental implants don’t sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth so more of your own teeth are left untouched, a long-term benefit to your health.
If you face the loss of one or several teeth or if you’re dissatisfied with dentures or other options available to you, dental implants may be right for you. During your initial consultation, we’ll help you decide.