Missing one or more natural teeth can make it difficult for you to chew food properly and make you feel self-conscious about your smile. Biologically, missing teeth can also cause your jaw bone to shrink as well as your surrounding teeth to shift and tip. Dental implants have been the gold standard for replacing missing teeth for the past several decades. The best part is implants look and function just like your natural teeth.
Think of a dental implant as an artificial tooth root made of titanium or ceramic that fuses with the surrounding jaw bone. This fusion is what makes implants feel so natural. A custom-matched crown is attached to the implant with a special connector called an abutment. With the implant, abutment, and crown in place, you’ll be able to eat, speak, and smile with confidence!
Did you know there are dozens of dental implant manufacturers ? This means not all implants are made of the same quality. In fact, some dental implant companies only stay around for a couple of years before they shut their doors. Because dental implants have brand-specific parts that may need to be replaced over time, patients with these off brand implants will have a hard time finding parts that fit or will need to use generic parts that are often substandard. Also, without the proper research and scientific backing, the longevity of these off brand implants and parts is simply unknown.
At Sloan Creek Dental, we are committed to only using implants from name brand companies such as Straumann and Nobel Biocare. These reputable Swiss manufacturers are at the forefront of implant technology and offer the most well-researched products in the field.
Dental implants are a popular tooth replacement method among patients and dentists alike. Some of their many benefits include:
Adults with missing teeth should get dental implants as soon as possible. This is because your jaw bone will immediately begin to shrink after a tooth is removed. Eventually, if significant bone loss occurs, you will need more extensive and costly surgeries before an implant can be placed.
For the best outcomes, a bone grafting procedure is performed on the same day the tooth is removed. This is to help maintain enough bone in the area to adequately hold an implant in place and keep it stable. Depending on the condition of the gums, underlying bone, and other surrounding structures, we can either place the implant during the same appointment as the tooth extraction and bone graft or we may need to wait a few months for the tissues to heal before implant placement.
Before any procedure is performed, Dr. Feng will give you a thorough dental exam that includes taking x-rays of your teeth and jawbone using our CBCT. Your 3D x-rays will help Dr. Feng figure out exactly what steps she will need to take. For instance, some people may not have enough bone in the jaw to support the implant and will require a bone graft before or during placement of the implant. The 3D image will also help determine the ideal placement location for the dental implant.
Once your dental implant has fully integrated with your jawbone, your custom-made crown will be placed onto the implant abutment. All of our restorations are made of a durable material that will resemble a natural tooth and blend into your smile. Your dental implant and crown will restore the function, look, and strength of your teeth.
After the dental implant process, you should continue your normal oral hygiene routine. Your implant is treated like a natural tooth and should be brushed and flossed to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.
Dr. Feng believes in using advanced technologies for precise and accurate implant placements. For the majority of cases, a surgical guide will be used so that there is no guesswork during the implant process. Many dentists still place implants using a freehand technique which means they’re basically guessing the best position and angulation of the implant. If the angle or position of the implant is off for whatever reason, there is a potential for complications when placing the implant crown, nerve damage, or implant failure.
The dental implant procedure begins with numbing the area where the implant will be inserted. A small incision will be strategically made where the implant post will be placed directly into your jaw. This post is similar to a tooth root as it allows the replacement tooth to be securely fitted and held in place. The post will be left to heal for three to six months during which a process called osseointegration occurs. Within this healing period, the dental implant will fuse into the jaw bone to serve as a base for an abutment and the implant crown. The goal is to create a healthy, stable foundation to promote a long-lasting and natural-looking final restoration.
Patients who suffer with one or more missing teeth need a strong and long-lasting option other than dentures. Dental implants might be the right choice for you. Contact us at (972) 468-1440 today to discuss how dental implants might benefit you and your smile.