If you have lost any of your molars, implant dentistry can provide a solution. Dental implants are a highly effective, natural-looking and -feeling alternative to other tooth replacement treatments. Even if you have only lost one tooth, talk to your dentist about replacing it with an implant.
How Dental Implants Work
The structure of the implant mimics the structure of a natural tooth. Because your new tooth includes a root, your jawbone will not lose mass over time, as is common with dentures. The root helps stimulate growth in the jawbone, preventing long-term atrophy. The biting and chewing portion of the tooth is made of porcelain or a tooth-colored resin, which means your new teeth will look just like the teeth you lost.
Implants are usually placed in a two-step process. First, your implant dentist sets the artificial roots directly in the jawbone. After a few weeks of healing, the bone bonds to the titanium in the implants, creating a solid foundation for your new teeth. This both holds the tooth in place and allows the root to stimulate bone growth as you chew. Next, the crown portion of the tooth is set in place, after which your smile is complete. In some cases, you might require a bone graft before the implants are placed, or you might receive a removable denture right after the implant procedure.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Almost anyone who has lost a tooth is a good candidate for dental implants. Some people, though, have pre-existing conditions that can make it difficult for the implants to heal. These conditions can include:
- Gum disease
- Autoimmune disorders
- Diminished bone mass in the jaw
If you have gum disease or diminished bone mass, your dentist can recommend treatment that will increase your chances of a successful implant procedure. If you are a smoker or are taking certain medications for osteoporosis, consult with your implant dentist to see if dental implants are a good fit for you.
Contact our office today to set up a consultation!