Tooth loss is something no one looks forward to. If you lose one or more teeth, you have a number of options, one of which is dental implants. Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances. Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years.
Dental implants (usually titanium) are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist or Periodontist - a specialist of the gums and supporting bone. It requires a three to six month healing period before the implant restoration (crown) will be placed. During this healing time, the bone grows in and around the titanium implant creating a very strong support. The teeth (crowns) attached to dental implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months. First, Dr. Mabry will take a complete dental history, x-rays, impressions, and complete a thorough oral examination. X-rays and impressions help determine bone height, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. The surgical placement of the implant(s) into the bone is done right in Dr. Mabry's office, with a local anesthetic. After surgery, there is a healing period of approximately three to six months. During this time, the implants fuse to the bone by a process known as ‘osseointegration’. Next, there is a minor surgical exposure of the top of the implant. This is a short procedure that usually requires only local anesthesia. The last phase is the restorative phase. The general dentist will take an impression of the area and then make a prosthesis that will attach to the implants. Once completed, your mouth will be restored to natural looking, strong teeth providing excellent stability, appearance and comfort.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. The success of your implants will depend greatly on how well you maintain them. They will need to be professionally cleaned by a hygienist and examined by Dr. Mabry every three to six months. Also, brushing and flossing daily is absolutely necessary for long-term success.