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Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

If you are missing teeth because of an accident, injury, gum disease or tooth decay, our dentists can restore your smile and help you look and feel your best. Our dental experts are committed to providing you with the best solutions for all your dental care needs. We offer dental implant options that will allow you to enjoy the most natural-looking replacement teeth and enable you to eat and drink the foods you enjoy and speak with greater confidence.

What Is a Dental Implant?

Composed of three basic parts, a dental implant is designed to function in much the same way as your natural teeth:

  1. The post of the implant is inserted into the jaw and works much like the roots of your own teeth to provide a secure attachment and to stand up to the pressure of biting and chewing. This part of the implant is made of titanium, which is a strong and durable metal that is unlikely to be rejected by your body.
  2. The abutment attaches the implant to the dental appliance used to replace your teeth, which is generally referred to as the crown of the implant.
  3. The crown is made up of one tooth, a few adjacent teeth or a row of teeth that is supported by several implants. The crowns are designed to look and function just like your original teeth.

Dental implants offer real benefits to the 52 percent of American adults between the ages of 20 and 64 who have lost at least one permanent tooth, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC also states that of adults aged 65 or older, almost 20 percent have lost all of their permanent teeth.

Endosteal vs. Subperiosteal Implants

There are two types of dental implants:

  1. Endosteal implants, which are inserted directly into the bone of the jaw and allowed to heal in place.
  2. Subperiosteal implants are less common and gum tissue is used to provide an anchor for the implants.

Endosteal dental implants are more secure and solid. However, subperiosteal implants are an option for patients with severe bone loss in their jaws due to age or advanced gum disease.

Understanding the Basics of the Dental Implant Process

You will undergo several surgical procedures to complete the dental implant process. Your treatment plan will require multiple appointments as your dentist will be:

  • Removing any broken or decayed teeth in the area where the implant will go
  • Examining the jawbone and the surrounding gum tissue
  • Performing a bone graft, if necessary
  • Placing the implant into the jaw
  • Attaching the abutment to the implant
  • Taking impressions of teeth and gums to ensure the best fit
  • Affixing the crown to the abutment

Some of the most important steps involved in dental implants include:

  • Placing the dental implant requires your oral surgeon to first open the gums and then drill into the bone of your jaw to create a hole for the implant post in the case of an endosteal implant. For a subperiosteal implant, your dentist will insert the implant under the gum tissue to create a firm attachment within the gums and then suture the area.
  • Attaching the abutment usually takes place after the post has completely healed in place and is fused to the jaw or gums. The process requires a small incision to be made in the previously healed gum to attach the abutment to the implant post.
  • The final procedure in the process is affixing the crown to the abutment. Whether your crown consists of just one tooth or an entire row of teeth, it will be attached to the appropriate abutments to ensure that it is a stable replacement for your missing teeth.

What Is a Dental Bone Graft?

Patients who have advanced gum disease may have extensive bone loss in their jaw. A bone graft is used to replace this bone and to provide a solid attachment point for your dental implant. The material used for this process can come from other parts of your body or could be a bone substitute that is designed to promote faster growth of bone tissue. Depending on the extent of the grafting required, this procedure might be performed prior to your implant surgery or as part of the initial placement of the post.

After Your Surgery

We will provide you with complete aftercare instructions. Our dentists will prescribe pain medication, if necessary, and will ensure that any swelling or inflammation is addressed quickly and effectively. Our team is committed to providing you with the best dental care before, during and after your implant procedure.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Most of the patients who have received dental implants from our dentists are glad they invested in the procedure. Some of the most commonly reported benefits of dental implants are:

  • Added comfort when biting and chewing
  • Increased confidence in social situations because of the elimination of risks of slipping dentures
  • A brighter and more beautiful smile
  • Durable and reliable replacements for missing teeth
  • Easy brushing and flossing
  • Improved overall oral health

Potential Drawbacks of Dental Implants

Worries about undergoing surgery and the cost of dental implants are the most common issues that prevent patients from taking advantage of the benefits of dental implants. We will make your oral surgery experience as painless as possible and will work with you to reduce any anxiety.

Because we understand that the cost of dental implants can be a barrier to treatment, our dentists offer affordable payment options designed to help you manage the expense. This can take some of the financial stress out of the process.

We Are Here For You

To learn more about dental implants, please call us to schedule a consultation. We are here to help you look and feel your best.

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