A dental implant can be an excellent option to replace a missing tooth if one or more of your teeth are missing.
Dental implants are an effective alternative to bridges, partials, or complete dentures. Implants are used to replace missing roots and support artificial replacement teeth. They are comfortable and look like natural teeth.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal. It is inserted into the jawbone to replace the natural tooth’s root. An artificial replacement tooth is attached to the implant. The implant acts as an anchor to hold the replacement tooth in place.
Who does this procedure?
Your implant can be completed here at Mann Dental. Dr. Mann has training in implants and is happy to discuss the process with you. If there are complications, we may refer you to a dental specialist who has further training in this area. Specialists who place implants are periodontists or oral and maxillofacial surgeons, also called oral surgeons. Specialists who place crowns, bridges and dentures on implants are called prosthodontists.
Who can get dental implants?
If you are in good general health, have healthy gums and have enough bone in the jaw to hold an implant, dental implants might be right for you. If your jawbone has shrunk or not developed normally, you may be able to have a bone graft to build up the bone. A bone graft is a way of adding new bone to your jawbone. Your dental specialist will tell you if bone grafting can be done.
How are dental implants done?
Your specialist will carefully examine your mouth and take x-rays of your head, jaw and teeth to determine if dental implants are right for you.
During the first stage of surgery, a dental implant will be placed into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue. The gum tissue is then stitched back into place. The implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum as the tissue heals. It can take several months to heal.
During the second stage of surgery, an abutment will be attached to the implant once the tissue is healed. An abutment is a post that connects the replacement tooth to the implant. In some cases, the first and second stages of implant surgery may be done in one single step.
An artificial replacement tooth is made, and then attached it to the abutment. It may take several appointments to properly fit the replacement tooth to the abutment.
A fixed bridge is anchored to your dental implants when replacing several teeth or all your teeth. A bridge is a dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth by spanning an area with no teeth. The bridge is held firmly in place by dental implants on each side of the missing tooth or teeth.
Because dental implants are placed in the jawbone, artificial replacement teeth attached to implants look and act much like natural teeth. Like natural teeth, implants need to be kept clean using a toothbrush and floss. We will show you the proper cleaning procedure for implants. Regular dental checkups are essential, so we can ensure your bite is correct and that your implants are not loose.
Several visits may be needed to complete this process.
Checkups will be scheduled during the following year to ensure your implants are working correctly.
You will need to take very good care of your implants.
Implants cost more than other kinds of replacement teeth and might not be covered by your dental plan. But in most cases, this is a one-time cost, unlike other tooth replacement procedures.
Although rare, possible complications due to dental implants can occur. These include bleeding, infection, numbness or injury to nearby muscles or the sinus cavity. In some cases, the implant may not be successful because it didn’t bond to the bone.