If you've lost a tooth or even several teeth, the healthiest and most aesthetic replacement option is usually dental implants. A dental implant can support a crown, bridge, or full dentures, and helps restore your smile, preserve bone and gum tissue, and prevents the rest of your teeth from moving as they fill in the gap. While the process of receiving dental implants can take several appointments, this dental prosthetic is worth the time required to have the work done.
Before you receive a dental implant, your dentist will examine your teeth and jaw to ensure your jawbone is thick and dense enough to support the titanium screw which will replace your missing tooth’s roots. If your jawbone can't provide an adequate foundation, you may need bone grafts to prepare it. This will require a waiting period of several months to allow the grafts to heal. Alternatively, your dentist may recommend subperiosteal implants, which rest under the gum tissue but don't penetrate the bone.
Once your dentist has examined your jaw and decided where to place your dental implant, you'll be scheduled for surgery to set the post. Another healing period will follow this operation, after which the post will be topped with a connecting piece called an abutment and then the final crown. Occasionally, this process can be shortened, and the post and crown can be placed all at once. This abbreviated process is only offered to ideal candidates with few risk factors for implant failure. Once a dental implant has successfully integrated with the bone, it is permanent.
A dental implant is the most advanced tooth replacement option available, and despite the long preparation and recovery periods, is the procedure of choice for many dentists. If you have missing teeth to replace, talk to your dental care provider about dental implants today.
Randall A. Ellis DDS offers cosmetic and restorative dentistry to patients throughout the Texarkana, Arkansas, area. To give you a smile you can be proud of, Dr. Ellis's services include everything from teeth whitening to dental implants. Make an appointment today at (870) 772-1374 or online.