Tooth loss can occur for many reasons … a traumatic event, disease, or advanced decay can result in a missing tooth. You have multiple choices for replacing a tooth; patients wishing to restore their ability to eat, speak, and laugh with confidence often look to dental implants to replace a missing tooth.
A discussion with your dentist will reveal the options available to you … the one permanent solution that best mimics your biological tooth is with dental implants. There are other solutions such as a partial denture or dental bridge. Your dentist will explain how each of these are designed … there are pro’s and con’s for any solution, but the one that will allow you to eat, speak, and smile like you did before experiencing tooth loss is dental implants.
The dental implant process starts with a discussion of your overall health followed by a thorough dental examination to qualify you for the procedure. Dental x-rays will be taken to determine bone strength in the jaw where the implant is to be placed.
A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically embedded in gum tissue where tooth loss has occurred. Bone will fuse with the implant while the surgical area heals. A temporary covers the implant to protect it from movement.
Bone merging with titanium is referred to as osseointegration. This process allows the implant to become a permanent part of the dental anatomy offering strength and stability to the final restoration that will eventually be placed over the implant. Lack of sufficient jaw bone does not exempt you from this option … there is a procedure that will supplement bone in the jaw before the implant is placed.
Patients who have smoked for a long period might face a more difficult battle as tobacco use does diminish bone over time. Tobacco use is highly discouraged for patients considering dental implants.
Once healing is completed and x-rays have revealed a successful merge between bone and the implant, the final restoration can be placed. Your dentist has fabricated a tooth that will match surrounding teeth in size, shape, and color allowing it to blend naturally with neighboring teeth.
Caring for your implant involves daily brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist every six months for cleaning and exam.
To learn more about your tooth replacement options, contact Withers Dentistry at 940-293-2635 and schedule your consultation today.