Do you have one or more missing teeth? Tooth loss is a more common problem that can affect people of any age. You may lose a tooth to trauma during an accident, or you may have advanced decay or gum disease that has resulted in tooth loss.
Whatever the reason, dental implants are a modern tooth replacement that restores ideal dental health and gives you back your whole and healthy smile.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is secured in your jaw bone and acts as a foundation for tooth replacements like crowns, bridges, and dentures. The biggest benefit of choosing an implant to replace a missing tooth is that they look, feel, and function just like real teeth.
More than just a tooth restoration, placing a dental implant at our Belleville de also helps maintain the stability of jaw bone after you lose a tooth. Once you lose a tooth, the bone that once supported it starts to deteriorate.
By placing a dental implant in the space, we help to preserve the bone structure as if your natural tooth was still present. Among other things, this helps maintain the shape of your face to prevent an aged or sunken appearance.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
When we are replacing a single missing tooth, we would place your implant and place a crown on it to restore function and appearance. If we need to replace two or more missing teeth, we may recommend a restoration like a dental bridge or full or partial implant denture.
Dental implants consist of three parts:
- Implant post: The implant is a tiny titanium post that replaces the lost tooth root. We place the implant post in your jawbone, and as it heals, it fuses into the threads of the screw-like implant.
- Abutment: The abutment connects the implant in your jaw to the restoration we add later.
- Restoration: The restoration is the part of the implant that people see when you smile, and that allows you to chew on the tooth.
What’s Involved with Getting a Dental Implant?
Our dentists will first determine if you are a good candidate for an implant by taking digital x-rays. They will check the x-ray to see if you have sufficient strong, healthy bone in your jaw to hold the implant in place.
We place most dental implants here at our comfortable Belleville dental office, and before we begin, we will make sure your mouth is numb, so you don’t feel any pain. Then our implant dentist, Dr. Michael Smith, places the post in your jaw in a procedure that takes about an hour.
Most patients tell us that the procedure was more comfortable than they thought it would be, but we do offer nitrous oxide if you would like something to take the edge off of your anxiety.
There is a healing period for your implant where your own healthy bone grows around the implant. This process is called osseointegration and can take anywhere from 3-6 months.
When the implant has integrated fully with your jawbone, we will add the abutment and the restoration to it. The result is a beautiful new tooth that looks, acts, and feels like your own tooth.
Call Us to Get Started with Dental Implants
If you need to replace missing teeth, please call us so we can help you find the solution that’s right for you. In addition to implants, we also offer dental bridges and full and partial dentures, and we will be happy to explain all these options to you.
Please call the office of Michael Smith, DMD at (618) 235-5141 to schedule an appointment.