Are you researching ways to replace your missing teeth? If so, you have likely already heard about the growing popularity of dental implants. According to the American Dental Association, more than 5 million implants are placed each year! Why are so many people turning to implant treatment to restore their smiles? The answers are right here in this dental implants 101 blog.
What Are Dental Implants?
An implant is a small titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone. Over several months, the implant fuses with the surrounding bone through a natural process known as “osseointegration”. Once the implant has healed, an artificial tooth is attached on top.
Dental implants are the only restorative solution that replaces both missing teeth and missing tooth root structures. There are several types of implant treatment, such as:
- Single tooth replacement – One implant can fill a gap in your smile by providing outstanding support for a dental crown.
- Implant bridge – Two implants and a bridge can replace several consecutive missing teeth.
- Implant denture – Just a few strategically placed implants can secure an entire arch of false teeth.
Understanding the Implant Process
Here are the major steps in the dental implant process:
- Initial Consultation – Your dentist will examine your teeth, discuss your smile goals, and create a personalized treatment plan.
- Preliminary Treatments – Some patients must first undergo gum disease therapy, a bone graft, or other procedure to prepare for implant treatment.
- Implant Placement – Your dentist will surgically insert the implant into your jawbone beneath the gums, then stitch your gums up to heal.
- Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment – Over the next several months, your implant will fuse with the jawbone. Once the implant has fully integrated with the bone, your dentist will place an abutment on top. An abutment connects a dental implant to an artificial tooth.
- Restoration Placement – After your gums have healed around the abutment, you will return to your dentist’s office to receive your new tooth!
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a popular tooth replacement solution thanks to their many benefits, such as:
- Restore Chewing Power – Dental implants provide outstanding support for an artificial tooth, bridge, or denture.
- Prevent Bone Loss – Implants stimulate the jawbone and prevent bone deterioration, which can help you retain a more youthful appearance.
- Natural Appearance – Custom restorations that attach to dental implants will blend in seamlessly with your smile.
- Long-Lasting Results – With proper care, dental implants can easily last for decades!
Are You a Good Candidate?
Are you missing one or more teeth? Or do you already wear dentures but want a sturdier solution? If so, you are likely a good candidate for dental implants. While every case is different, implant candidates generally must have:
- Healthy gums and no other serious oral health issues
- Adequate jawbone density
- Excellent oral hygiene habits
If you are ready to reclaim your confidence and restore your smile, do not hesitate to contact your dentist and ask them about dental implants!
About the Author
Dr. John Siu has over a decade of experience rebuilding patients’ smiles with dental implants. He works alongside a talented team at The Dental People of Katy to perform start-to-finish implant treatment. To learn more about the basics of dental implants, visit The Dental People of Katy website or call 281-769-7648.