Dental implants are one of the best restorative solutions available; whether you are missing a single tooth, a few teeth, or are in need of a full-arch restoration, dental implants offer a stable, long-term solution for tooth replacement. Dental implants allow patients to eat and smile confidently, without worrying about a prosthesis slipping out of place. Patients smile proudly knowing that their new dental implants look just like natural teeth, and most people feel no noticeable difference between their natural teeth and the prosthesis.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a surgical-grade titanium screw that is placed securely into the jaw bone, thus providing a secure foundation to adhere the prosthesis, whether it is a single tooth or a permanent bridge to replace multiple teeth.
A single tooth restoration has three parts that include the implant, the abutment, and the crown. The dental implant is a small titanium screw that is placed in the jaw which acts as a replacement for your missing tooth root. The crown is designed to look exactly like a natural tooth and connects to the implant through the abutment.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
While not everyone is a candidate for dental implants, recent advances have opened the door for dental implants to a much broader patient population. The main reasons a patient may not be a good candidate are either because their jaw bone is unhealthy or they have specific medical problems that may prevent them from healing properly. There are very few people who truly are not a candidate for dental implant placement. Fortunately, even those with limited bone can often receive a bone grafting procedure to improve the bone and provide a foundation for the dental implant.
To determine candidacy, Dr. Anderson will gladly meet with you for a consultation, where he will perform an oral exam, review your medical history, and take a sophisticated 3D X-ray before determining the best course of treatment. Contact our office in Granger, IN, to help you determine which restoration plan best fits your specific situation and schedule your consultation.
What are the benefits of replacing a missing tooth with dental implants?
Dental implants are the best long-lasting option if cared for properly. They offer many benefits over traditional dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. Dental implants are the most stable, long-term solution to your oral health problems — implants can last a lifetime with proper care while bridges supported by neighboring teeth last an average of only eight to ten years.
Dental implants also promote better oral health. They prevent the need to grind down or damage adjacent teeth to cement a bridge, which also avoids relying on the strength of the adjacent teeth to carry the burden of a bridge. Additionally, dental implants help preserve your remaining teeth and decrease the bone loss that commonly occurs after extraction by integrating directly with your jaw.
On top of being longer lasting and more functional than many other options, implants look almost identical to natural teeth, and most people (aside from trained dental professionals) can’t even tell the difference. Benefits of dental implant placement include
- Improved aesthetics
- Improved comfort and function
- Increased stability of the teeth or dental prosthesis
- Reduced bone loss
- Reduced natural tooth loss (preserved health of adjacent teeth)
- Long-term solution
Dental Implant Procedures
If the tooth has not yet been removed, sometimes we can place the implant at the time of extraction, which is called an immediate implant. Other times, we need to place some bone grafting material on the site to set us up for the best long-term success, which is called ridge preservation.
After the dental implant is placed, there is typically a healing period to allow the implant to integrate with the jaw bone. This process of healing typically takes three to six months. Some people are concerned about having missing teeth during this time. You never have to go without a replacement tooth. During this healing process, some patients will have temporary replacement teeth that are removable until the implant crowns are placed. This depends on what the patient’s needs and wants are. After the area has healed, your general dentist will make a customized replacement crown that looks like your other teeth and will restore functionality of your teeth and confidence in your smile.
Dental implants require surgery, which means patients are usually administered a local or IV anesthetic and antibiotics to prevent possible infection. Dental implants also require regular oral hygiene and proper care to ensure they last as long as possible.
Treat your dental implants with the same care as you would your natural teeth. You will need to maintain regular oral hygiene and regular checkups with your general dentist. Sometimes, dental implants fail because patients do not keep up with their oral care, including flossing and brushing. Frequent professional cleanings are also required to ensure the implant is a success.
Please make an appointment with Dr. Taite Anderson at Granger Oral Surgery & Dental Implants in Granger, IN, to learn more about dental implants and discover if dental implant restoration is right for you.