Dental implants are an effective way to replace missing teeth.
When teeth are lost because of disease or an accident, dental implants may be a good option.
Many people choose implants to replace a single tooth or several teeth, or to support a full set of dentures. Implants are posts surgically placed into the upper or lower jawbone. They replace the root of tooth or missing teeth.
Dental implants are made of titanium (a strong, lightweight metal) and other materials that are well accepted by the body. More than 5 million implants are placed each year by dentists in the United States.
Benefits of Dental Implants:
- Implants offer firm support to man-made teeth. Dentures, bridges or single teeth attached to the implants won’t slip or shift in your mouth.
- This secure fit also helps man-made teeth feel more natural than typical bridges or dentures.
- Where teeth are missing, dental implants also help keep the jawbone from shrinking.
- Implants are a good value because they can last a lifetime with good care.
What is involved in Implant placement?
Many kinds of implants are available. Treatment can take only one day or can take several months, or somewhere in between. Dr. Abeyta can discuss which type of implant is best for you.
- Placement of implant – The implant will be surgically placed into the jawbone. You may have some swelling or tenderness after surgery.
- Healing process – What makes an implant so strong is that the jawbone grows around it and holds it in place. This process called osseointegration takes time. It may be several months before the implant is completely integrated into the bone. Then the permanent replacement tooth or teeth can be placed.
- Placement of the tooth or teeth – For a single tooth implant, Dr. Abeyta makes a new tooth for you called a crown. Implant supported bridges and dentures are also custom made to look like natural teeth and to fit your mouth. The replacement teeth are attached to the implant posts.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
Patients should be in good health or cleared by their physicians before scheduling any implant surgery. They should have enough jawbone to support the implant. Bone can be built up with a bone graft or sinus lift surgery.
Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and leukemia, may slow healing after surgery. Implant treatment may not be a good option for patients with these illnesses. Tobacco use also can slow the healing process.