We know how devastating it is to lose a tooth, but we now have an alternative that looks and feels like a natural tooth! For generations, removable dentures were the only option for replacing teeth. In recent decades, dental implants have offered a more comfortable and natural-looking alternative. Implants can replace one tooth or many in a row. For those who have lost most of their teeth, implants can be used to anchor a full or partial denture.
Implants have a 97% success rate across the board for patients of any age. About half a million implants are placed each year in the United States.
The following are advantages of dental implants
- Comfort – Implants do not irritate the gums or interfere with chewing, taste or speech
- Chewing – They allow you the chew any and all types of food
- Oral hygiene – You can brush and floss them just like a natural tooth
- Cavities – Implants do not decay
- Bridges – Unlike bridges implants do not require the adjacent healthy teeth to support them
- Biting pressure – Your natural teeth transfer pressure to the bone when biting which helps the bone remain strong. Implants allow the same transfer of pressure, thus preserving your natural bone which with bridges and dentures deteriorates.
How implants are placed
The traditional implant process takes several months to complete and consists of three steps:
- Step 1 – Placement of the implant into the bone. The bone is then allowed to fuse to the implant before any pressure is applied to it. This process is similar to letting the concrete dry for the fence post before attaching the fence. Most patients are surprised to find that they have less discomfort after the placement of an implant. One to two days of rest at home is enough for most and pain can be managed with over the counter medicine and prescription medicine.
- Step 2 – The implant is uncovered and the abutment, or post, is placed on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for the crown to be placed on.
- Step 3 – The implant is loaded with a crown and is now ready to use!
Our office is happy to answer any questions you might have about implants or the procedure involved.