Dental implants make it possible for cosmetic dentists to create healthy, attractive smiles in an innovative way. Used to replace one or more missing teeth, implants are an improvement to conventional bridges and dentures. Dental implants look like natural teeth and, because they maintain bone mass, dental implants can help prevent additional tooth loss as well as the sunken facial appearance associated with missing teeth.
Each dental implant is composed of a biocompatible titanium screw and post topped by a crown, bridge or denture. We surgically place each implant into the jawbone where it replaces the natural tooth root. In a few months, the implant securely attaches to the bone, allowing it to withstand biting and chewing forces just like a healthy natural tooth.
The most common reasons for implant therapy include replacement of one or more teeth, support of non-removable “bridge” to replace multiple teeth, or support of a removable full or partial denture.
Once the implant has been completely integrated with the bone, (usually 3-6 months), a post is attached to the implant. We can then apply our cosmetic dentistry skills to create the permanent tooth replacement.
Why replace a missing tooth?
Whenever you lose a tooth, the biting forces change of the teeth next to the space, causing them to shift. Opposing teeth may even begin to extrude out of the socket, which means they too could eventually be lost.
Also, as your bite changes, it gets more difficult to chew your food, and you may suffer damage to your jaw joint. It is also much harder to clean teeth that have shifted harmful plaque and tarter collect int he new hard-to-reach places created by the shifting, causing tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Subsequently, it is critical to replace a lost tooth. An excellent option for replacing a missing tooth is an artificial tooth secured by a dental implant. Implants are titanium cylinders that are surgically placed in your jaw to serve as artificial tooth roots. Attaching a replacement tooth to an implant allows us to avoid placing a bridge. Bridges require that we prepare the adjacent natural teeth, and that weakens them substantially.
Unlike crown and bridge treatment, dental implants do not require the alteration of adjacent natural, healthy teeth. They also prevent bone loss and the movement of natural, healthy teeth.
Start to finish, the procedure may require several months to complete, because it can take about four to six months for the implant to fuse to our bone tissue.
If you are interested in replacing a missing tooth with an implant, we will perform a thorough evaluation to determine whether your health and lifestyle make you a good candidate for this kind of restoration.