Feeling self-conscious about a toothless smile? Then you’re not alone. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 85 percent of Americans age 65 and older have lost teeth. Missing teeth can make speaking uncomfortable, challenging your ability to socialize with confidence.
But, don’t worry – there’s still hope! To help you replace your missing teeth, consider tooth replacement solutions like dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Your local Fairview Dentist can is here to help you get your smile back
What is a Dental Implant
Dental implants have many advantages over the conventional treatment of tooth loss. They offer a solution to tooth loss by acting as a replacement for your natural tooth. To do this, an artificial tooth root called an implant, is interested into the jawbone underneath the gums to replace the missing teeth. An abutment is then placed on top of the implant where the replacement tooth called a crown, is attached to complete the process.
Dental Implant benefits are…
- In majority of the cases, no preparation of adjacent teeth is necessary
- Dental implants help with bone loss, prevents you from having a sunken appearance
- Permanent solution to tooth loss
- Stimulates bone growth
- They are the closest replacement possible to natural teeth
- No embarrassing slippage you would get with dentures
Am I a good Canidate for Dental Implants?
Candidates for implants need to have adequate bone density in their jaw, healthy gums so that the implant can be supported, and not have any periodontal disease. That way, the implant itself and even surrounding teeth are more likely to remain in place. If a patient has lost significant bone volume over time, particularly because of periodontal disease or absence of natural teeth, it may not be possible to place an implant without restoring the area with bone grafting. If bone grafting isn’t a viable solution, there are alternatives such as dental bridges and dentures.
If you’re missing multiple teeth, we can use dental implants to make tooth replacements more secure for bridges or dentures. With dental implants, they have changed the way people live as people are able to eat whatever they want, and not worry about their teeth falling out, and best of all, they look and function exactly like natural teeth.
The Process of Getting Dental Implants
Step #1: The Initial Consultation
A consultation with our friendly and highly skilled dentist will allow you to talk openly about your needs for dental implants and if it is a procedure that would be valuable for you. This consultation allows you to discuss the results you want to achieve and helps determine if you are a candidate for dental implants. If you’re a good candidate and you would like to proceed, we’ll discuss the costs and financing options to help you make the best decision possible.
Step #2: Bone Grafting / PLACING THE IMPLANT
During the consultation, your dentist will let you know whether bone grafting will be required or not. If required, the bone graft is done to increase the amount of healthy bone in your mouth so that we can place the implant. Depending on the treatment required, it typically takes four to six months for the area to heal and be ready for the implant.
Once you’re ready for the implant, we’ll start by giving you a local anesthetic at the site where the dental implant will be placed. You’ll feel totally comfortable and relaxed; no pain. After the numbness kicks in, your dentist will strategically make a small cut for the implant post. This is similar to a tooth root. It will replace your missing tooth and hold it securely in place.
Step #3: Healing and Fusing with the Bone
When a dental implant is placed, it fuses with your jawbone within the next several months. During this time the patient’s mouth needs to heal, and bone needs to grow around it. After this process, it can take a few months for the tooth implant to fuse with the bone via a process known as osteointegration. The goal during this process is to create a healthy strong foundation for a long lasting and natural-looking restoration.
Step #4: Attaching the Permanent Crown
Once your dental implant is in place, we will put a custom-made crown over the new implant abutment. Your tooth stays permanently fixed in position and feels just like a normal tooth! We can easily match the color to your other teeth, so it blends well. After filling your implant, continue your normal oral hygiene routine. Your implant is treated like a real tooth and should be brushed and flossed to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.
What If I'm missing more than one tooth?
If that’s the case, there are a couple of options available. All on 4 (or All on 6 if indicated) is a procedure that involves the use of four or six posts for the support of overdenture in place of individual dental implants or dentures. One of the major benefits of overdenture is that it won’t slip around in your mouth like traditional dentures, it prevents bone loss like dental implants, and you won’t have to worry about teeth falling out.
What should I expect after my treatment?
After your treatment, you will need to continue taking good care of your new smile. Brushing twice daily and flossing after every meal is crucial for preventing plaque buildup, which could lead to tooth decay or cavities. In addition, you’ll want to visit your local Fairview dentist on a regular basis to help ensure that your gums and teeth remain healthy, and you protect your implant investment. Your new teeth are designed to last as long as your natural teeth with proper dental care.