Tooth loss can occur from some kind of trauma, excessive dental decay, or gum disease. Or maybe you suffered from a hereditary condition that blocked proper formation of your teeth. Whatever may have been the cause, missing dentition should be resolved; and for many patients dental implants has been the solution that most closely resembles biological teeth.
Dental implants are a relatively new offering; but they have become a very common solution to restore tooth loss. A consultation with your dentist is the first step to enjoying life’s pure pleasures … the ability to eat all the foods you love, speak clearly without embarrassment, and smile or laugh in public without shame.
During that first meeting a discussion pertaining to your overall health is needed to qualify you followed by a very thorough dental exam. Dental x-rays will be needed where tooth loss is to be restored to make sure there is sufficient bone to support the implant.
Lack of bone will not automatically eliminate you as a prospect; there are procedures that can be performed to enhance bone as needed.
When sufficient bone strength has been determined, the titanium post (implant) is surgically embedded in gum tissue. There will be a healing period required while the jaw bone grafts to the implant. This process is called osseointegration.
During this period a temporary protective covering will be needed; the patient is encouraged to keep the implant area clean to prevent infection, and tobacco use is strongly forbidden (infection and smoking are the leading causes of implant failure).
The implant process can take up to a year from start to finish. The final step is to place the cosmetic restoration that has been fabricated to match surrounding teeth in size, shape, and color.
The temporary is removed; an abutment is attached to the implant; and the final restoration is permanently cemented into place. At this point, the patient is able to resume eating, speaking, and smiling as if tooth loss never occurred.
History has shown that dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Caring for your dental implant is the same as what’s needed for your biological teeth. You will brush twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste, floss to remove what your toothbrush missed, and visit your dentist every six months for cleaning and dental exam.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our office today!