The newest method in dentistry used to replace missing or extracted teeth is a procedure called dental implants. They provide a foundation for replacing missing teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
Dental implants are titanium anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes inserted into the jawbone, then a crown that acts as a replacement tooth is placed on top of the anchor, and an abutment is used to secure the two together.
When you lose a tooth, the bone that holds your teeth in place no longer gets the stimulation that it is supposed to get daily. As a result, it stops rebuilding itself, loses width, loses height, and loses shape. This can, in turn, affect your ability to chew and speak with your remaining teeth. Dentures do not help prevent these serious issues, but implants do.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat virtually anything, speak, and smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved.
If like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a 3D dental radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by Dr. Puerto, or by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
The anchor is made of a very tough and durable material called titanium. Once the implant is inserted into your jaw, a process called osseointegration takes place where the bone that surrounds the implant begins to fuse to the anchor which strengthens it even further. It is not until this has happened that the replacement tooth will be fitted, but once in place, your new implant will be as secure as a regular tooth.
Dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical device at around 98%. However, a robust oral hygiene routine is crucial to ensuring their results for the long-term.
For many people, the idea of having a metal screw inserted into their jaw is frightening. However, since anesthesia and Nitrous Oxide Sedation might be used during the procedure, you should not feel any pain. Some swelling and soreness afterward are common, but over the counter pain relief is normally sufficient to alleviate any discomfort and these symptoms will usually dissipate by the next day.
If you have a single tooth missing, then you will need an implant to replace it. However, if you have multiple teeth missing, it is possible for two or more implants to support more than one tooth each in what is known as an implant-supported bridge. Dr. Puerto will be able to advise you if this is a viable option for your personal dental requirements.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, dental implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums, gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary teeth and eat a soft diet during this time. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.
After the dental implant has integrated fully into the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Puerto will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar to start making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants.
Dr. Puerto and our restorative team will design the final custom crown, bridgework , or denture, which will improve both function and aesthetics.
Although dental implants have an extremely high success rate, that does not mean that they are right for every patient. If you are considering dental implants, you will need to have a consultation with us to evaluate your individual health and dental requirements.
The ideal candidate will:
People who may not be suitable candidates for implants include:
Young people whose jawbones are still developing
Those with immune conditions
Those with uncontrolled diabetes
Alcohol or substance abusers
People who have received a high dose of radiation to the head or neck (for example, radiotherapy for cancer)
People who have a suppressed immune system
Dental Implants improve the quality of life in a very concrete way. People who have felt embarrassed and worried because of their teeth problems are often overwhelmed by what new permanent teeth can do for their self-esteem. Contact us today to schedule an appointment if you are considering dental implants.