When a tooth has been knocked out, extracted or is otherwise missing, this can cause complications for the nearby teeth. Patients typically choose to replace the missing tooth through either dental implant surgery or crown and bridge work.
A dental implant is a structure that is placed into the jawbone in the spot of the missing tooth. A dental implant can come in different shapes and types of material – but most often it is a post-like device that is used to anchor a replacement tooth.
Why Choose a Dental Implant instead of a Crown and Bridge Procedure
Using a dental bridge means having to rely on the nearby teeth to hold the replacement tooth in place. So a major benefit of a dental implant, when replacing a single missing tooth, is that you can have a solid, good-looking replacement. Crown and bridge work requires at least one tooth on each side of the missing tooth to be drilled down and a crown placed on those healthy teeth.
Dental Implant Surgery
Often the shape of the jawbone is not perfect to receive an implant. Either before or during the placement of an implant, corrections can be done often. This involves leveling the top of the jawbone to allow the dental implant to be placed on an even surface.The gum tissue that surrounds the implant is also a key factor in success. In some situations, the gum tissue will need to be made healthier before the placement is done.
Once the jaw and gum areas are ready for an implant, implant surgery begins with the opening of the gum. Careful drilling is done to make room for the implant post and it is screwed into place. Several sutures are used to close the gum afterwards. For most people, dental implant surgery can be placed using conventional, local anesthetic like what is used doing fillings.
Once the implant has shown that bone has grown solidly around it then a crown can be attached to the post. This healing process usually takes about 4 months so we use a temporary tooth while we are waiting for the implant’s post to integrate into the patient’s jawbone and gums.
Dental Implants & Dentures
Implants were originally designed to help people with dentures hold them in place. They still are used for this and do a wonderful job. Nowadays, there are many ways to use implants to hold both full dentures and partial dentures.
For over 30 year, patients have relied on Dr. Grody for their dental needs. Call our dental practice in Augusta at (207) 622-0450. Our friendly staff is available to talk with you about your dental implant procedure and Dr. Grody’s experience.
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Dental Implant Before and After Photos
Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Implants
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are structures that are placed into the jawbone. They come in different shapes and types of material but most often dental implant means a post like device that is used to anchor replacement teeth.
Are they for everyone?
Unfortunately not. Most people can have dental implants but in some situations they are not able to be used.
Sometimes it is necessary to prepare the jawbone or gums to receive implants before dental implant surgery can occur.
How do they work?
Once the implant has shown that bone has grown solidly around it or integrated then a crown can be attached to the post.
How long does it take?
Usually about 4 months after they are put in you can begin to build teeth. Sometimes we use temporary teeth while we are waiting for the implant to integrate.
What type of teeth can you build with implants?
Very nice ones ! You can replace a single tooth or all your teeth. The replacements can be made to look very natural.
What are the benefits of implants?
One major benefit when replacing a single missing tooth is that you can have a solid,good looking replacement without using nearby teeth to hold the replacement tooth in place. This means that crown and bridge work which requires at least one tooth on each side of the missing tooth be drilled down is avoided by having the implant hold the replacement tooth instead of the next door teeth.
Implants were originally designed to help people with dentures hold them in place. They still are used for this and do a wonderful job. Nowadays there are many ways to use implants to hold both full dentures and partial dentures.
Are there any problems?
Yes there are risks to putting in implants and problems can happen later on. Implant use requires a great amount of planning before starting treatment to keep problems to a minimum.
Can implants be used to replace any missing tooth ?
No. There are a number of things that need to be acceptable to allow an implant to replace one or more missing teeth.
Do teeth made for implants look natural ?
Yes they can be made to look like other surrounding teeth or can be changed to give a different appearance such as lighter color.
What if I am missing a number of teeth do I need an implant to replace each one ?
No. In situations where someone is missing some or all of their teeth a number of implants can be spaced evenly to support many missing teeth.
Do teeth stay in permanently on top of implants ?
Some tooth replacements are designed to placed permanently and function like a natural tooth.
Other restorations are made to be removed and cleaned at home.
How do I find out if implants are for me ?
A thorough exam and x-rays are a good start. Other imaging such, as CAT scans, may be part of the process.