One or more missing teeth can certainly change the appearance of your smile, but there are also serious dental health ramifications to consider. Each of your natural teeth are anchored directly into the underlying bone tissue. When you bite down, you stimulate that tissue, keeping it healthy and strong.
Losing a tooth means losing that stimulation. The bone that lies beneath can begin to wear away in a process called resorption. That can weaken the connection between your jaw bone and remaining natural teeth, leading to a cascade of tooth loss.
Missing teeth also lessens the stability of your bite. The surrounding teeth can begin to shift out of position, which changes the force of your bite. This places undue pressure on your remaining teeth, which can cause significant damage.
Dental implants are a permanent option for replacing one or more missing teeth. Because implants are secured directly into your jaw bone, they preserve healthy bone tissue.
You can have a single implant to replace just one tooth, or a system like All-on-4Ⓡ can replace an entire upper or lower span of teeth.
Individual implants consist of a metal post which acts as a replacement tooth root. The visible portion of the implant is an artificial crown. Some systems use a small connector piece called an abutment that attaches the post to the crown.
The planning stage is arguably the most important part of getting dental implants. Digital imaging and advanced software allows your practitioner to design a customized treatment plan for placing your implants.
On the day of the procedure, you’ll receive numbing medication to keep you comfortable throughout the visit. Your dentist creates an incision in your gums to gain access to the underlying bone. A small pilot hole is drilled to guide the placement of the implant.
Next, the post is placed within the pilot hole at a precise angle. Your gum tissue is closed over the post and a period of healing begins. A temporary crown can be placed as your bone tissue fuses to the implanted post.
After a few weeks, you’ll return to have the custom crown attached to the post. This completes your implant procedure, and you’ll walk out ready to share your new smile with the world.
When you’re ready to learn more, schedule a face-to-face consultation. Online booking is available, or you can always call to check appointment availability.