Dental Implants: A "Natural Replacement"
Today, the preferred method of tooth replacement is dental implant treatment. Dental implants replace missing tooth roots, and form a stable foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like your own natural teeth. Dental implants also help preserve the remaining bone by providing the stimulation previously provided by the natural tooth roots. Once in place and healed, dental implants are the most effective dental procedure available to replace missing teeth long term.
There are numerous advantages of dental implant treatment over other treatment options. It is not necessary to grind down the adjacent teeth for a bridge, or secure a partial denture to adjacent teeth with clasps or hooks which can cause tooth loosening. Implant-supported replacement teeth spare patients many of the disadvantages of traditional false teeth.
Benefits of Implant Treatment
- Helps to minimize the bone resorption (deterioration) process
- Looks, feels and functions like natural teeth
- Does not compromise adjacent teeth by grinding them down for a bridge
- Increases stability, making chewing more natural
- Eliminates pain of ill-fitting dentures and partials
- Improves appearance
- Often easier to clean than traditional tooth replacements
- There are no nerves to go bad or areas to decay, like natural teeth
What does getting an implant involve?
Receiving an implant is a surgical procedure, where the patient will be anesthetized, and the implant placed into the jaw bone. Once in place, the implant will require a suitable amount of time to heal before a tooth replacement can be placed onto the implant. This may be several months.
Depending on the type of implant placed, there may be the need for additional surgeries before a final tooth replacement can be placed. Once healed, the implant will be uncovered and a tooth replacement will be placed onto the implant. At this stage, the implant will be treated as a natural tooth.
Who is a candidate for implants?
Anyone who has healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. Because implant placement involves more than one surgery, candidates must be in overall good health and have meticulous oral hygiene.
Certain chronic diseases, like diabetes, osteoporosis or chronic sinus problems may interfere with proper healing and could prevent the implant from attaching to the bone. Smokers may also heal slower than non-smokers, potentially causing issues with implant placement being a success.