Dental Implant Overview
Tooth loss is quite common, perhaps more common than you might think. If you are missing a tooth from your mouth, then you are in good company. Over 75 percent of all American adults are missing at least one tooth from their mouth, and of this population, nearly another 20 percent are missing all of their teeth.
However, just because tooth loss is common does not mean that you should have to suffer from the lasting negative effects of missing teeth, including pain when eating and chewing, poor bite force, and further tooth loss. When you lose a tooth and are looking for a lasting permanent replacement for it, we here at Tieken Smiles Dentistry believe that dental implants may be exactly the solution you are looking for.
What Do I Need to Know about Dental Implants?
There are many different options available to patients who have sustained tooth loss. Some options may stand out as better choices, depending on your goals and objectives. For many of our patients, dental implants are exactly what they need to help them replace their missing tooth and regain their confidence and quality of life. Unlike other options, dental implants are a permanent, lasting solution to tooth loss. They can improve your ability to bite and chew and look and feel natural. They are also very easy to maintain and keep clean and have an incredible 98 percent success rate.
Dental implants consist of three major components, the implant, the abutment, and the restoration. The implant is a titanium screw that is surgically placed directly into your jawbone. It is made of titanium because the body will not reject the material, but instead will accept it and start to fuse with it. This process is known as osseointegration and helps keep the implant strong and sturdy in your mouth.
The abutment is the connecting piece that attaches the implant to the restoration. This post will be placed later on after the jaw heals from the initial surgery for the implant. Finally, the restoration is the crown – that is the part that resembles a tooth and will be the finishing touch.
The procedure itself does not take very long (typically around an hour to an hour and a half) and is normally performed under a combination of intravenous (IV) sedation and local anesthesia. This helps keep you calm and relaxed during the procedure and prevents you from experiencing any discomfort. However, from initial surgery to final restoration, it may take up to six months or longer, as the implant does need to heal before we can place the restoration.
Are You A Candidate?
Good candidates for dental implants include people who are in good oral health, do not smoke, and have sufficient bone mass for the procedure. If you do not meet these specific criteria, we will first need to address any active tooth decay or gum disease in your mouth before we can begin. Patients who smoke are advised to quit for the best outcome for their procedure, and patients who do not have sufficient bone in their jaw may be good candidates for a bone graft procedure.
If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, or to set up an appointment with us to determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure, please give us here at Tieken Smiles Dentistry a call at (281) 942-0444 today!