Despite improvements in dental care, millions of Americans suffer tooth loss – mostly due to tooth decay, periodontitis (gum disease), or injury. For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. Today, dental implants are the standard of care. We believe they are the ideal tooth replacement option available because they maintain bone levels and look and feel like natural teeth. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Some advantages of dental implants include improved appearance, speech, comfort, and oral health. Eating will be easier and pain-free. Implants are also very durable. With good care, many implants last a lifetime. Because implants are not removable, there is no need for the messy adhesives to keep your dentures in place.
Implants have three parts:
- Titanium metal, which fuses to the jawbone
- An abutment, which fits over the part of the implant that sticks out from the gums
- The crown, which a special restorative dentist creates for a natural, tooth-like appearance
You can get an implant to replace a tooth. Or two or more implants can provide a stable support for replacing several teeth. If you have bone loss from periodontal disease or lost teeth, the surgeon will likely need to first graft bone so the implant has something to secure to.
Having implants requires several steps, including:
- A comprehensive exam, X-rays, and consultation
- Surgical implantation of the titanium screws
- Taking impressions of the upper and lower jaws
- Making a model for the creation of the dentures or crowns
- Placement of the crown
- Follow-up exams with members of your implant team