Dental implants are changing the way people live and are one of the most important advances in modern dentistry. Implant dentistry offers people who are missing one, several, or all of their teeth an excellent alternative to partials or complete dentures. Dental implants provide the comfort, appearance, and function of natural teeth.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder that is surgically placed into the jawbone and serves as a root substitute for a tooth. Once the implant is placed, the bone fuses to the implant and anchors it in the mouth. These anchors provide a strong foundation for replacing single or multiple teeth.
Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist or Periodontist - a specialist of the gums and supporting bone. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.
Once an implant is in place, Dr. Burkhead can use it to place a prosthetic tooth or anchor a fixed bridge. Most dental implant patients experience little or no disruptions to everyday life during the implant process. Patients often return to the office with big smiles and stories about how much they now enjoy eating.
After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete. After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.