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Closing the Gap with Dental Implants

Implant illiustrationThough dental care has improved leaps in bounds in the past century, many people still lose teeth due to decay, gum disease, and injury. Bridges and dentures used to be the only option to replace missing teeth. But today, dental implants are a safer and better option for many people. Made to match your natural teeth, dental implants are replacement tooth roots that provide a foundation for replacement teeth. Dental implants can support crowns for single or multiple missing teeth, bridges, and dentures.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants offer many advantages over bridges and dentures:

  • Appearance: Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth.
  • Comfort: Because dental implants are permanent, they feel like natural teeth and are not uncomfortable like some dentures.
  • Eating and Speaking: Dentures can make chewing, eating, and speaking difficult, but dental implants allow you to chew, eat, and speak naturally.
  • Health: Bridges require other teeth to be shaved down. Dental implants don’t require nearby teeth to be altered.
  • Long lasting: Dental implants have a success rate of up to 98% and with proper care, dental implants will last a lifetime.

Socket Preservation by Bone Graft/Augmentation

Some patients require a bone graft before dental implant surgery. A bone graft addresses jawbones aren’t thick enough to support dental implants and create a more solid base for the implant. The healing can take up to 9 months but if you only need minor bone grafting, this can be done at the time of dental implant surgery. Needing a bone graft will be discussed in the initial consultation.

The reasons for needing a bone graft include:

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth development defects
  • Denture wear
  • Injury or trauma
  • Missing teeth
  • Past dental procedures that did not restore natural bone

Exams Before a Dental Implant Procedure

First Radiographs, x-rays, will need to be taken of your jaw and teeth. A CT scan may be ordered. This will help your dentist know if you have bone, tissue and the needed room for successful implantation. Molds of your jaw will also be constructed.

These tests are important, as they help your dentist place the dental implant in the best spot to maintain a natural look and feel to your mouth. The bone quality also needs to be determined, and a CT scan may be more reliable than an x-ray for that determination.

Dental Implant Process

There are several stages to the dental implant process. The first stage involves placing the implant into the bone socket of the missing tooth. The jawbone then heals and grows around the implant, taking anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks.

Once the implant and jawbone has healed, a connector is attached to the implant to hold the new tooth. In order to make a new tooth, the dentist will make an impression of your tooth and create a model of your bite – ensuring the new tooth matches your existing mouth and will work in tandem with the rest of your teeth. The new tooth is then attached to the connector post.

The procedure itself will not be painful because it is performed under local anesthesia and sedation if required. However, after the anesthesia wears off, you may notice mild discomfort in the affected area, which can be treated with over the counter pain medication.

Want to Know More?

At Toothville Family Dentistry we are always available to answer any questions you have about your dental health and the choices that are available to address specific conditions. If you’re concerned about missing teeth and your available options, or if you have any questions at all involving your dental health – feel free to give us a call.
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Toothville Family Dentistry | (587) 755-6688