A dental implant is one of the newest and best advancements in dentistry. Implants allow us to replace missing teeth, anchor fixed partial dentures, and retain removable dentures.
When describing a dental implant, the best comparison is to that of a natural tooth root. The part of your teeth that you use to chew and that you can see is called the crown of the tooth. This crown is supported by the part of the tooth embedded in bone which is called the root. The dental implant is a replacement for the root of a missing tooth.
When placed in your jaw, an implant becomes firmly attached to the bone. The cells in our bone have a strong affinity for the titanium in the implant, and during integration, the implant fuses to the bone. Once this process is complete (typically in 6 weeks to 6 months). We can then attach a crown, bridge, or denture to the implant for a permanent solution.
Dental implants provide the best replacement for missing teeth
When both the tooth and root are damaged beyond repair, the best permanent replacement is a single-tooth implant: a single unit combining a dental implant with a ceramic crown. Usually, the implant will also get a post or abutment screwed onto it to support the ceramic crown.
This solution both looks and functions just like a natural tooth. Often, depending on the patient’s mouth, an immediately functioning temporary tooth can be placed. This helps to create an excellent esthetic result, with shorter treatment time and minimized pain.
If you are missing a tooth or teeth, or are faced with losing a tooth or teeth, dental implants may be the most natural tooth replacement available. Implants are rapidly becoming the restoration of choice for replacing missing teeth.
Dental implants can be the best solution for the person wearing complete dentures. As few as two implants may be placed and either a new denture fabricated or the existing denture retrofitted to attach to the implants. This allows a greater degree of stability and retention than ever possible with traditional complete dentures.
Dental implant alternatives
Alternative choices to implant dentistry include: cemented (fixed) bridges, removable partial dentures, a combination of fixed and removable, or complete dentures.
Dental implant procedure time
Depending on your situation, implant dentistry can be accomplished in 3 to 4 visits over the course of 6 to 8 months. More complicated cases may take longer. Under the proper circumstances, a tooth can be placed on an implant the same day the implant is placed. Dental implants look and feel so natural, you may forget you ever lost a tooth.
Dental implant risks
Once an implant is placed, the biggest risk to its success is perio-implant infection, very much like periodontal disease. Continued care with our hygiene department is crucial to long-term success.