Dental Implant Procedure
Approximately 120 million people in the U.S. have at least one missing tooth. Tooth loss can trigger several oral health problems, from irregular tooth wear to teeth misalignments. Even though 40 million Americans use dentures, many patients are choosing implants. Perrinville Family Dentistry understands that your smile and oral health are of great importance. We help you make a choice on dental implants vs bridges and other tooth replacement solutions. We tailor your dental implant treatment to boost your dental health and budget.
An Overview of Dental Implants
One of the implications of tooth loss is the atrophy of the underlying bone. The jawbone progressively disintegrates without the pressure of chewing and biting on food. In severe cases, bone resorption may lead to changes in facial structure. An implant is an ideal solution for tooth loss since it retains bone mass and prevents resorption. The prosthetic is a post placed on the site of missing teeth. After placing the dental crown, the implant functions as natural teeth.
Titanium is the most common dental implant material used as the post that serves as the tooth’s root. The titanium fuses with the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. The metal bonding with the bone makes implants distinct from bridges and dentures.
Evaluation and Planning
An initial evaluation is crucial for planning treatment before placing the implant. Dental x-rays and your teeth impressions will determine if other procedures like tooth extractions are necessary. Our dentist will also match your enamel with the implant’s crown for a bright, confident smile. The condition of your jawbone is another critical aspect that will inform treatment planning. The bone must be strong to withstand the pressure from chewing or clenching teeth. Patients with a thick and healthy jawbone do not require a bone grafting procedure.
Grafting is recommended before dental implant restoration for patients with an unhealthy jawbone. The process involves transferring bone material from another section of the mouth. You will need time for healing before the implant's insertion.
Dental Implant Placement
Once the bone heals, our dentists will place the implant on the jawbone. The bone will start growing to bond with the titanium screw. Depending on the patient’s oral health condition, the process may take between three and nine months. The progress of your recovery will be assessed during follow-up appointments. If the implant is healing properly, an abutment is screwed on the artificial tooth root. The abutment connects the crown to the implant.
The placement of the crown is the last stage of the process. You can choose between a permanent and removable crown depending on your dental hygiene routine.
Implants vs. Bridges
When the choice is between implants vs. bridges, many patients prefer the former. Even though implants take longer and are more expensive, they have a success rate of 95 percent. They are less likely to cause cavities on surrounding teeth. Bridges can last more than 10 years, but they often require a replacement after five to seven years. Your appearance is also more likely to change over time with bridges. Implants are a permanent solution, resembling and functioning like your natural teeth.
If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, our skilled dental team at Perrinville Family Dentistry would be glad to help. Contact our dentist at (425) 616-0620 to schedule a consultation for a customized treatment plan today.