Dental implants are an increasingly popular option for replacing missing teeth. Losing one or more of your teeth creates a gap in your smile, affects your ability to chew properly, and can alter your diet and nutrition. In addition to these serious issues, tooth loss also causes bone loss. When a tooth is lost, the jawbone beneath it shrinks from lack of stimulation. Not only does losing teeth affect your smile, it also changes the shape of your face causing you to look prematurely aged. Dental implants are the new standard of care for tooth replacement. The bond with healthy bone can provide permanent support for dental crowns and dentures. Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth and can last a lifetime.
Why choose dental implants? Dental implants are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile. In fact, the development and use of implants is one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years. They are made up of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body. Crowns, bridges, and dentures address the short-term cosmetic problem of missing teeth but do nothing to stop bone loss. With dental implants, healthy teeth are not compromised. Dental implants, like natural teeth, stimulate the jaw and stop bone loss.
Treatment options... You can replace a single tooth with an implant supported crown. You can also replace multiple teeth with a fixed implant supported denture or a removable implant stabilized denture.
What to expect... The entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months.
Treatment Planning: The doctor will take images and create a model of your existing teeth to determine the optimal implant position. Occasionally, a bone or gum tissue graft will be necessary to create adequate space for the implants.
Implant placement: Dental implants are placed into the bone in a relatively pain-free procedure. The bone and gums will be given time to heal before an abutment and crown are attached. The implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to heal, and during this time the jaw bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. During this healing time you can have temporary crowns installed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile.
Crown placement: Your final crown will be placed once the implant has bonded, restoring your natural smile.