Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental prothesis.
What is dental implant?
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist or Periodontist – a specialist of the gums and supporting bone. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Why should you consider dental implants?
If you, like millions of Americans, have lost one or more teeth, you may be all very familiar with the unpleasant consequences. For majority of cases, missing teeth can lead to an unattractive smile, uncomfortable to chew and speak, embarrassment from loose dentures.
Traditional dental treatments can give replacements for missing teeth using bridges, removable partials and dentures; however, each of these has its problems. Bridgework usually involves altering natural teeth to provide a stable foundation for support of replacement teeth. Partials and complete dentures can, at times, be very unstable leading to denture sores or speech difficulties.
Can I be a candidate for implant?
With the exception of growing children, dental implants are the solution of choice for people of all ages who have reasonable health condition, even those with some health condition.
Dr. Lim can determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after careful evaluation of your dental and medical history. Patients who want to have dental implant therapy done need to have good daily oral hygiene, too. It is very important to maintain your valuable investment for long time. Stephens City Family Dentistry provides thorough oral hygiene instruction to individual patient so that you will enjoy the new replacement of missing tooth or teeth in healthy and sound way.
Do I need good bone?
It is important for a patient to have enough bone to support the implant. There are many reasons why patients do not have enough bone to have implant therapy. If you do not have adequate amount of bone, you may need bone graft as extra procedure. Dr. Lim will evaluate if you need additional bone material for implant placements.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
- The first appointment should be made for a consultation. X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant.
- After a thorough consultation and treatment planning the patient will come back for the implant placement surgery. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months.
- Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.
- After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete.
- After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.