Missing teeth may be cute in small children, but many adults feel extremely self-conscious about their smile if they have experienced tooth loss. People are living longer lives in a more esthetically pleasing way, which are two good reasons to consider tooth replacement options. What many people are not aware of is the impact that missing teeth may negative have on your health.
When you lose a tooth, there is a small area on your jawbone that no longer needs to provide support because the tooth and the root structure are no longer present. Your jawbone begins to lose its strength and firmness without that support. This deterioration does not happen immediately, but it is a concern for anyone who has missing teeth. Tooth loss can actually change your facial structure.
Dental implants are tooth replacement solutions that can actually protect your dental health by simulating your natural tooth and tooth root structure.
A dental implant is a manufactured post that is designed to create a stable foundation for a natural looking tooth restoration. Placed directly into the jawbone, a dental implant is the closest thing to your natural tooth.
The base of the dental implant (the post) serves as a substitute for the missing tooth root structure.
Dental implant patients can be secure in the knowledge that their dental health is safe.
Dental implants are very strong because of the method of placement. There is no problem with slippage, which means that you can eat and speak with comfort and confidence. Looking at a smile with dental implants is like looking at a smile with natural teeth.
A dental implant is a restorative procedure that attaches artificial teeth to anchors that are surgically embedded in the bone. Dental implants can replace one or more teeth provide support for a partial denture, increase support and stability for a full lower denture and increase patient comfort and confidence.
Implant procedures are complex and may take up to 9 months to complete. There is some degree of risk as with any type of surgical procedure and this type of treatment will not be recommended to everyone. A good candidate for implant procedure would be one who has adequate bone structure and does not have a serious medical condition. The financial investment is greater than that for other types of restorative procedures such as bridges.
During the first stage of treatment the surgical site will be prepared. An implant cylinder is inserted into the receptor site. A sterile surgical screw is placed within the receptor. The screw is often made from titanium because it is very compatible with bone and oral tissues. The soft tissue is closed and the surgical site is allowed to heal for 10-14 days. It may take as long as 3 to 6 months for the bone to heal or integrate with the implant.
After the tissues and bone have completely healed, the second stage of the procedure consists of removing the soft tissue from the surrounding area and uncovering the sealing screw. An attachment post is screwed into the implant that now extends above the gum line. The soft tissues are again allowed to heal for 10-14 days during which time the dental prosthesis is being made. On the final appointment the dental prosthesis will be attached to the posts resulting in a strong permanent restoration that is aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.
A patient who is considering dental implant procedure should gather as much information as possible before treatment is commenced. The patient should have a realistic and informed opinion of what the expected results will be.