Let’s face it. Loosing a tooth, no matter what the cause can be embarrassing, make chewing difficult and affect your self-esteem. Dental implants simply provide a foundation for replacement teeth and are revolutionizing how dental professionals restore teeth that look and function like natural teeth. Implants are changing the way our patients live by giving them the confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life in comfort.
Since the implant is the root of the tooth, let’s take a look at the three components that make up the finished product:
- Implant — a tiny titanium post that is surgically implanted into the jawbone
- Abutment — a conical shaped device that is the connective element between the implant and the crown
- Crown — an artificial tooth that is customized for the patient to provide a natural appearance
Every patient is unique, and implants are needed for a variety of reasons. Appearance, structure and support for surrounding teeth, and overall facial structure are three of the most common reasons. Once you have lost a tooth, you may experience further bone loss and surrounding teeth can begin to move. If you are experiencing bone loss, you may need a bone graft or ridge augmentation. Once that process is complete an implant can be placed.
If you fear the dentist, let me reassure you that placement of an implant is an easy process for the patient with a very short recovery time. After placement of the implant, we look for a process called osseointegration to occur. This is the fusion with the jawbone that makes dental implants a lasting solution and strong support mechanism for replacement teeth. Unlike dentures that rest on the gum line, implants never slip or make embarrassing noises that advertise the fact that a person has “false teeth.”
Most adults missing teeth find dental implants to be the best solution since they allow replacement teeth to blend seamlessly with surrounding teeth and they help preserve the structure of the patients mouth. As long as a patient is not medically compromised, proper homecare is conducted and implant maintenance procedures are followed, there is a success rate of about 98%.