For one of more missing teeth, dental implants are often the best treatment option. These artificial tooth replacements not only offer a natural looking restoration, they can also help stop or prevent jaw bone loss.
Dental implants can be used regardless of the cause of tooth loss whether itís tooth decay, gum disease, or trauma to the mouth.
Although there are a variety of restorative options for missing teeth such as bridges and dentures, dental implants have proven to be the most effective and durable option. And, in many cases, it is the only logical choice for restoration of functionality of the teeth and supporting structures.
Dental Implant Consultation
You will need to consult with your dental professional to determine if implants are your best treatment option. During the consultation, you will be given a thorough dental exam, possibly involving x-rays or CT scans to evaluate if you have enough bone structure for placing implants and to determine the best location for the implants.
After reviewing your condition, dental hygiene, and commitment to following aftercare instructions, you will receive specific advise on whether dental implants are right for you. If you do not have sufficient bone or gum tissue, your dental healthcare provider may recommend bone or small tissue grafts prior to the placement of implants. Itís important to discuss how long the entire treatment process will take, the number of appointments required, and what you can expect during and after each procedure.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Typically composed of a titanium screw and a crown, a dental implant is nearly indistinguishable from a natural tooth. To prepare the jaw for implantation, a small pilot hole is drilled into the jawbone to guide the screw that holds the implant in place. After this hole has been drilled at the appropriate site in the jaw, it is widened to enable the placement of the implant screw. Once it is in place, gum tissue is secured over the implant and a cover screw is placed on top to help the site heal and osseointegration to happen.
Osseointegration is the process of anchoring the implant root within the jawbone. If osseointegration doesnít occur, the implant will not be successful.