Dental implants are a permanent solution to replace a missing tooth or they can be used to replace several missing teeth. They look, function, and feel just like your normal teeth. Implants are gaining popularity and are becoming the standard of care to replace teeth.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth that is anchored directly into your jawbone. It is made up of two main parts, the root form and the porcelain crown. You can see this illustrated in the image shown to the right.
In the first part of this procedure, the titanium root form is surgically implanted into the jawbone. Then, your natural bone grows in around it in a process which is called osseointegration.
After a healing period of several months, a crown is placed right on top of the titanium fixture. This restorative part of the procedure is the portion that is visible above the gumline. It will look so natural that no one will be able to tell you were missing a tooth.
If you are missing several teeth, more than one implant can be used instead of a dental bridge or partial denture. Implant patients feel that they are more cost effective in the long run and that their quality of life is better because they don’t have to worry about removable appliances that move around.
Although, it is important to realize that when you are missing teeth you are susceptible to a condition called facial collapse. Dental implants prevent the bone loss that occurs with this condition because they stimulate the bone so it is not resorbed.
There are some drawbacks in choosing implants. If budget is a major deciding factor, they are more expensive than some of your other options. Also, there is a four to six month healing period between the placement of the root fixture and the crown.
Dr. Polly Reese will never pressure you into any kind of treatment. During a complimentary consultation, she can present the pros and cons of implants and help determine if you are a candidate. She will gladly present all of your options to replace your missing teeth and listen to your concerns.