Missing a tooth? Dental implants are a good option for patients looking to restore the aesthetic of their smile and improve and repair their facial structure.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial post made of titanium metal that serves as a substitute for the root of a missing tooth. When the abutment, the connector placed on top of the post, is attached to an artificial tooth (crown), this results in a beautiful natural-looking replacement tooth.
Why Dental Implants?
Trauma, decay, disease, fractured roots and tooth positioning can all lead to tooth loss. Once a tooth is gone, the surrounding bone deteriorates and more teeth can potentially collapse into the empty space left behind. When you lose a tooth, it impacts the health of your jaws, gums, and surrounding teeth.
Aside from aesthetic reasons, tooth loss can also affect your overall oral health. Loss of a tooth can directly impact the way you bite, eat and chew foods. In addition to chewing, teeth play an important role in jawbone and gum health.
Because the root of a tooth intertwines with gum and jawbone tissue, it acts as a stimulant for further active production of healthy tissues in the gums and jaw. In the absence of a tooth, the gums and jawbone may begin to recede.
Dental implants help prevent gum recession, conserving your smile from decay and misalignment. Implants can solve both aesthetic and structural problems, restoring your teeth - giving you a properly aligned aesthetically pleasing healthy smile.
The Treatment Process
Your Birchmount Dental dentist will carefully examine your mouth and take x-rays of your head, jaw and teeth to find out if dental implants are right for you. If proceeding with dental implant treatment, during the first stage of surgery, your dentist will put a dental implant into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue.
The gum tissue is then stitched back into place. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum. It can take several months to heal.
During the second stage of surgery and once the tissue is healed, your dentist will attach an abutment to the implant. An abutment is a post that connects the replacement tooth to the implant. In some cases, the first and second stage of implant surgery may be done in one single stage.
Then, an artificial replacement tooth is made and your dentist attaches it to the abutment. It may take several appointments to properly fit the replacement tooth to the abutment.
When replacing several teeth or all of your teeth, a fixed bridge is anchored to your dental implants. A bridge is a dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth by spanning an area that has no teeth.
The bridge is held firmly in place by dental implants on each side of the missing tooth or teeth.
Who is a good candidate for this procedure?You may be a great candidate for dental implants if you have the following:
- Good general health
- Healthy gums
- Enough bone in the jaw to hold an implant
If your jawbone has shrunk or if it has not developed normally, you may be able to have a bone graft to build up the bone. A bone graft is a way of adding new bone to your jawbone.
Your Birchmount Dental dentist will advise you if bone grafting can be performed.