A dental implant is designed to permanently replace missing teeth. It is usually made out of titanium and is surgically placed into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. Unlike a dental bridge, an implant is permanent.
Crowns, Bridges and Dentures are not your only options when replacing missing teeth. Dental implants look and feel very natural. Surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, implants fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture.
Benefits of Implants
Implants offer stability because they fuse to your bone, through a process called osseointegration. Integration of the implants into your jaw helps your replacement teeth feel more natural and some people also find the secure fit more comfortable than substitutes. Candidates for dental implants must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant.
Reasons For Dental Implants
• Replace a missing tooth
• Maintain healthy bone levels
• Help support overdentures
• Keep the look and feel of a real tooth where one is missing
What does a dental implant involve?
Implant Site Preparation
The gum tissue is opened to expose the bone area where the implant will be placed. If there is insufficient bone structure, bone grafting may be recommended. Once healthy bone material has been established, a special drill is used to prepare the bone to receive the implant.
Placing the Implant
After the bone has been prepared, the implant is placed and the tissue is sutured. The healing process takes between 3 to 6 months. During the healing, the implant becomes part of the lower jaw, commonly referred to as osseointegration.
Even though it takes so long for osseointegration, the sutures are typically removed seven to fourteen days after surgery.
Attaching the Post
When the gum tissue is ready, a special post is attached to the implant. It is the support for the new porcelain crown. Today's technologies often include zirconium abutments attached to the implant post, to assure that the new porcelain tooth possesses translucency properties similar to a natural tooth.
Placing the Crown
After impressions are taken a crown is made and shaded to match your existing teeth. The crown is then slipped over the post and cemented. This final prosthetic crown appears as a natural tooth.
Dr. Snodgrass will help you determine whether dental implants will be a good tooth replacement option for you. Proper brushing and flossing will maximize the longevity of your new dental implant.
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Tuesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday: 7:00am - 4:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am - 4:00pm
Friday: By appointment only