If you have lost one or more teeth, it is certainly worth your time to research your tooth replacement options. You may come across a lot of sources claiming that dental implants are the best way to rebuild lost dentition. But what exactly is a dental implant? What makes them so great? And what can you expect from the treatment process? In this dental implants 101 blog post, we’ll discuss the answers to these important questions.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small cylindrical post, usually made out of a titanium alloy, that gets placed into the jawbone at the site of a missing tooth. The bone eventually fuses with the implant, allowing it to serve as a prosthetic tooth root. Once the implant is firmly in place, a restoration — a crown, bridge, or denture — gets securely placed on top of it to replace the visible portion of the lost teeth.
Sometimes, when people talk about dental implants, they are talking about both the implants and their restorations. In other cases, they may just be referring to the implants themselves.
Why Are Dental Implants So Great?
Dental implants are considered the gold standard in tooth replacement for a number of reasons:
- They prevent the bone loss that commonly occurs after tooth loss.
- They are incredibly sturdy and offer a bite force that can stand up to most (if not all) foods.
- They have the potential to last a lifetime, a fact that makes them an outstanding monetary value.
- Caring for them is similar to caring for natural teeth.
- They look and feel more natural than non-implant forms of tooth replacement, such as conventional dentures.
- They usually do not require that the nearby natural teeth be removed or modified.
The Dental Implant Process
The dental implant process may vary from case to case and depends on a number of factors. Some of the basic steps that you might have to go through include:
- A consultation. Your oral surgeon will determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants.
- The dental implant placement surgery. The implants will be inserted into your jawbone. The surgery usually takes just a few hours and does not come with a lot of downtime.
- A healing period. Your jawbone will bond with the implants. This usually takes a few months.
- Restoration. Your dentist will carefully design artificial teeth to go on top of your implants. Some implant-supported restorations are removable, while others are fixed permanently in place.
The above information just touches on the basics of dental implants. If you would like more information about this remarkable treatment, your local dental team or oral surgery team would be happy to answer all of your questions.
Meet the Practice
Drs. Steve Koo, Thomas Weil, and William Shepard are the oral surgeons at Piney Point Dental Implant Center. They are all experienced in placing dental implants, and they are always happy to educate patients about this potentially life-changing treatment. To learn more about them and how they may be able to serve you, get in touch with us at 713-597-7340.