When a single tooth is missing or needs to be removed, there are several options for tooth replacement. The best choice for restoring aesthetics and function of the natural teeth to the mouth is restoration through dental implant placement.
A dental implant is a small, medical-grade titanium post that is inserted into the jaw and supports the full dental restoration.
There are three parts to a dental implant:
- The implant itself, which fuses with the jaw bone to create a stable base for the new tooth.
- The crown, the porcelain restoration which is placed on top of the abutment and looks and functions like the natural tooth.
- The abutment, which is inserted into the implant screw and holds together the implant and the crown.
What are the benefits of replacing a missing tooth with dental implants?
Patients who undergo dental implant therapy find that the restoration offers a variety of benefits not offered by other forms of dental restoration, such as fixed bridges and removable stay-plates and dentures. Dental implants provide the following benefits:
Maintain the Health of the Adjacent Teeth
When dental implants are placed, there is no need to grind down or damage adjacent teeth to cement a bridge. Dental implants also don’t require the strength of adjacent teeth to carry their burden, as they fully support the new crown where the tooth was missing. In addition, dental implants can be brushed and flossed like natural teeth, making it easier to maintain the health of the mouth and avoid tooth decay or periodontal disease.
Dental implants are made of medical-grade titanium, which fuses with the jaw bone during the healing period. This fusion creates the most stable restoration available and helps to ensure that the dental implant acts just like a natural tooth. Patients with dental implants have no trouble biting into apples, eating chewy foods such as caramel, or speaking and enunciating properly.
While many restoration options emulate the look of natural teeth, dental implant crowns are replicated to fit into every patient’s mouth uniquely so that the restoration looks just like the original, healthy tooth. Patients with dental implants can smile with ease, knowing that their replacement teeth look just like their natural, healthy teeth.
Decreased Bone Loss
When a tooth is missing from the mouth for a long time, the jaw bone beneath the gums can begin to deteriorate. When dental implants are placed, the jaw bone fuses with the implant screw and maintains its natural, healthy growth and development.
Are dental implants the right solution for me?
If you are missing a tooth or need to have a tooth removed, dental implants are the best option for replacement. During your initial consultation, Dr. Marashi or Dr. Haghighi will review your medical history and X-rays and perform a thorough oral examination to determine if you are a candidate for a dental implant. If the bone in your jaw is thin, you may need an additional procedure, called bone grafting, to build up the bone so that there proper bone height and width are present for the dental implant screw.
During your first procedure, the implant will be placed and you will need to wait a few weeks for the surgical site to heal and the implant to fuse with the jaw bone. After healing, when the implant is securely anchored in the bone, an abutment is attached to the implant. This functions as the core of the replacement tooth. The abutment can be adjusted and shaped to allow the replacement tooth, or crown, to blend in with the adjacent teeth.
The final step is to affix a crown to the abutment. The crown is shaped and colored to match your surrounding teeth. The finished result matches your natural teeth. The entire dental implant procedure can be completed in as little as two months, with just three office visits.
If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, contact Greater Charlotte Oral & Facial Surgery to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled surgeons. Our office staff and surgical staff members are happy to answer any questions you may have to ensure you receive the highest quality implants that your mouth deserves.