Whether you’ve recently lost a tooth or have been dealing with missing teeth for a while, now is the right time to restore your smile with a dental implant in Washington. Dental implants are the most lifelike and secure among all tooth replacement options and they offer a number of oral and general health benefits, too. But even with these advantages, you may still want answers to basic questions before scheduling an appointment for dental implants. Read on to learn more.
What is a Dental Implant?
When people talk about dental implants, they are usually referring to the entire tooth replacement. In actuality, the implant is the portion that is surgically set in the jawbone beneath the open socket of a missing tooth. Made of the biocompatible metal titanium, the implant fuses with the surrounding bone tissue to form a solid anchor. This in turn supports an abutment, which secures the appropriate tooth restoration—a crown for a single missing tooth, a bridge for several and a denture for an entire arch.
Why are Dental Implants Better Than Other Options?
Dental implants offer several advantages that removable prosthetics cannot provide. For example:
- Unlike a removable partial or full denture, implants do not shift or slip. Like a natural tooth root, the implant is held firmly in your jaw so you can chew and speak with confidence.
- Because implants integrate with your jaw, they are able to maintain a healthy jawbone. Therefore, you are less likely to lose bone volume, which is a common problem with other tooth replacement options that can lead to sunken facial features.
- Dental implants are stand-alone tooth replacements that do not have any impact on adjacent teeth. A fixed bridge, on the other hand, necessitates removing some structure from adjacent teeth in order to mount the crowns that hold a bridge in place.
- Dental implants are no more difficult to clean than your natural teeth. Simply brush and floss as usual.
How is a Dental Implant Placed?
Once you and your dentist in Washington decide that a dental implant is the best choice for you, the procedure begins with simple oral surgery to place the implant in your jaw. Following a guide that is based on x-rays and careful measurements, the implant is positioned to take the best advantage of bone density. A local anesthetic makes the surgery painless.
Your restorative dentist in Washington will then monitor the healing process over the next few months. During this time, a flap of gum tissue protects the implant. As time goes by, the integration between implant and bone grows stronger and stronger.
After three to six months, you’ll be ready to have the abutment and customized restoration attached to the implant. Once this step is completed, you have a new tooth that is as strong and attractive as nature originally intended.
Don’t put up with missing teeth. Call your dentist in Washington today to schedule a consultation about dental implants.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. James Mace is a dentist in Washington, MO. He and his staff are committed to ensuring the health, beauty and longevity of your smile. If you’d like to learn more about dental implants or another restorative service, make an appointment today.