Are you missing a permanent tooth? Do you have gaps in your smile? Do you wear dentures and experience some of the following problems:
You may be a candidate for dental implants, an alternative to missing teeth. Implant dentistry uses your jaw to hold a tooth replacement or bridge, rather than anchoring it to a healthy, neighboring tooth. The results are natural-looking teeth implants that look, feel and function as your own!
Healthy teeth are a gift we often take for granted. Losing one or more teeth impacts our smile, our confidence, and our enjoyment of our favorite foods. Dental implants are technology's way of taking us a step closer to a tooth replacement that feels secure and looks like our own.
Implants take several steps, but you will be able to continue your regular professional and social routines. Initially, the dentist will evaluate your mouth, teeth and jaw to determine whether dental implants are a good option for you.
For most patients, there are two surgical procedures involved. First, in the actual tooth implant placement, the implants are surgically inserted by an implant dentist into or atop the jawbone. Over the next three to six months, the implants are left alone, so that the anchor can bond to the bone, creating a strong foundation for the teeth to come.
Second, the new tooth or teeth are created and attached to the anchored dental implant. You now have teeth implants that might as well be your own: they look natural, are comfortable, and withstand the rigors of grinding and chewing. No one will know that your tooth has an artificial, man-made tooth implant root.
It's true. Your current dental health will influence whether you're a good candidate for a dental implants. Some medical conditions may interfere with normal healing, such as diabetes or heart problems. Finally, the supporting bone in your jaw must be healthy; if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth, the success rate for your dental implants will drop. Less success also is noted in smokers.
A complete examination and X-rays by your dentist will determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. You must also commit to a strict schedule of flossing, brushing, rinsing, and check-ups to keep them healthy.
Technology gets the credit for this exciting alternative to missing teeth, dentures and bridges. Researchers noticed in the 1950s that titanium and some other materials formed a strong bond to the bone. That gave rise to the use of dental implants. Today, there are patients who have had dental implants for more than 25 years. Hundreds of thousands of tooth implants have been inserted, boasting more than a 90% success rate! Metal joint implants used in other parts of the body were actually developed from the success of dental implants.
It has been around for decades and people know it works. Schedule an evaluation with your dentist to determine if dental implants are right for you. Discover how they can improve your quality of life and put a genuine smile on your face.
By Brian J. Gray, DDS, MAGD, FICO