A dental implant is often the preferred restorative option (for both patients and specialist dentist) when dealing with missing teeth
Question: I’m having a tooth removed, and my specialist dentist recommended I get a dental implant. Why might a dental implant be the right option for me?
Answer: In explaining why a dental implant may be the ideal restorative option for a patient, it will help to first describe what a dental implant is. A dental implant is a small titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. It acts as a replacement for the root of the missing tooth. The crown of the tooth (the visible part of the tooth) can then be added either immediately or at a later time, depending on several factors, which your oral and maxillofacial surgeon and general dentist will discuss with you.
Patients can often times receive an implant the same day (same day teeth) as an extraction (provided there is healthy bone and no infection). In most cases, the implant is allowed to heal in the bone over a period of 3-6 months before a permanent crown or cap is placed by a general dentist. A temporary crown may be used during that interim period for aesthetic purposes.
For some patients the bone at the site of the tooth may have receded or lost density, which means there may not be enough healthy bone to support an implant at the site of the missing tooth. In these cases, the additional step of a bone graft may be necessary to strengthen and stabilize the bone.
Presently, a dental implant is often the preferred restorative option (for both patients and dentists) when dealing with missing teeth. Bridges are still used, but require neighboring teeth to be filed down. With a dental implant, a single tooth is securely fixed to the jaw without damaging any nearby teeth. A stable implant is not only good for replacing individual teeth; it can also serve as an anchor for dentures or bridges for those patients who have lost multiple teeth.
When dental implants are properly cared for the expectation is that they will last a lifetime. In fact, 95 percent of dental implants are successful, according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. However there are a number of factors, such as age, medical conditions, whether an individual smokes, and dental hygiene that can impact how long an implant will last.
Ultimately, dental implants, when compared to missing teeth, contribute to a healthier physical appearance, make eating easier and more enjoyable, and help preserve the tissues and structures of the mouth….read more
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