If you have lost a tooth, whether due to trauma or decay, a dental implant is a secure way of replacing the tooth that will give you a fully functioning tooth that will blend in with the rest of your mouth. In the past, missing teeth were nearly always replaced by either a denture or a bridge (a false tooth that was joined to the teeth on either side). In recent years, dental implants have been developed as a way of fixing a new tooth directly to the gum, keeping it strong and stable.
What Is A Dental Implant?
A dental implant is used to replace the root portion of your tooth. It is made from titanium, a metal which tends to work well in the mouth without adverse effects. A dental implant is placed directly into the gum, and a new tooth body (a crown) can be fitted over it. A dental implant can also be used to hold a bridge or partial denture in place. If you have lost a tooth, a dental implant can be used to hold a high quality false tooth in place, restoring your smile and giving you all the functionality of your natural teeth. A good quality implant can last for decades.
When a tooth is lost, the gum and bone around the site can shrink. A dental implant helps to support the surround structure and decrease the amount of bone loss, meaning that you gain not only a better looking smile, but strength as well.
What Happens During The Procedure?
To start with, your dentist will take x-rays and perform a full examination of your mouth to make sure you have a good enough bone density to support your new implant, and to assess your overall mouth health and suitability for the implant.
When you are ready for the procedure, you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. We are also licensed to use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or IV sedation (twilight sleep) is you are especially anxious. We can discuss those options with you prior to your implant being fitted.
A small hole will be drilled in the gum where your implant is to be fitted. After careful placement of your implant, the gum will be stitched back around the site and your implant will be left to heal and to bond with the surrounding bone and tissue. The length of time varies between patients – your dentist will be able to advise you on how long you should wait. You'll be given a temporary tooth (a bridge) for this period.
Once healing has taken place, you can come back to have your permanent tooth fitted to your implant. With proper oral hygiene, your implant can last you for years.
If you are missing a tooth, get in touch today to find out how we can help you regain your smile and your confidence.