Missing a tooth impacts more than just the look of your smile. A missing tooth can keep you from enjoying your favorite foods or from smiling with confidence. These gaps can also lead to more complex oral health issues down the line. Dental implants are often the best solution to replace a missing tooth, so you can smile through life again.
There are many options for replacing missing teeth, and it's important to understand the pros and cons of all of them. Dental implants are an excellent tooth replacement option, because they not only fill the gap in your smile, but they can help restore your overall oral health as well. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that can actually stop bone loss, and can be used with a variety of restorations to replace one or all of your teeth. Plus, they have the best longevity of all tooth replacement treatment options.
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With cone-beam computed tomography, or CBCT technology, we give our patients peace of mind. This reliable technology ensures precise placement for increased patient comfort and better overall outcomes.
Is dental anxiety keeping you from scheduling your procedure? We keep care as soothing as possible by offering a suite of sedation options for a virtually painless experience.
Some patients require extra preparation before receiving dental implants. Dr. James is experienced in a variety of oral surgeries and procedures, like bone grafting and ridge augmentation, to ensure your implants function properly and stand the test of time.
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Implants feel and function just like natural teeth; you can brush and floss like normal and still enjoy your favorite foods.
Your implant will be paired with a durable and natural-looking, custom-crafted restoration to blend seamlessly with your smile.
Implants are made from biocompatible materials, and mimic the form and function of your tooth’s natural roots to prevent bone resorption caused by tooth loss.
After your treatment has been approved, your doctor will arrange a date for your oral surgery and devise a surgical plan. Your doctor will create an opening in your gums and securely place a dental implant directly into the jaw bone. Afterwards, the surgical site will be cleaned and sutured to begin the healing process.
After your implant surgery, your gums and jawbone will begin to heal. The incision area will heal in just 1-2 weeks, however, it will take 3-6 months for the implant to fuse with your jawbone through a process called osseointegration. To ensure proper healing, we’ll schedule follow-up appointments during the osseointegration phase to monitor your progress.
Once the implant has fully bonded with your jaw, the final phase of the treatment will be to place your restoration. A restoration is the visible part of a dental implant, and most often takes the form of a dental crown when replacing a single tooth. Your restoration will be specially designed to match the rest of your smile and will be securely attached to the titanium implant via an abutment. Once your new tooth is in place, your smile will be fully restored!
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Single-tooth dental implants are the most frequently used dental implant and consist of three parts: the dental implant, the abutment, and the dental crown. The dental implant is a titanium rod with a screw-like shape that is placed into the jawbone. The abutment, which is a connector piece, attaches the dental implant to the dental crown. The dental crown, also known as the restoration, reinstates the shape, function, and appearance of your natural tooth. Unlike a partial denture, single-tooth implants are extremely durable and never move or shift.
Titanium dental implants are manufactured in reputable laboratories that offer a wide range of standard post sizes. However, the restoration is a personalized prosthetic. This ensures that each patient receives a result that meets their specific needs and aesthetic desires. Your dentist may either create your restoration in-office using a milling machine or send detailed impressions to a collaborating laboratory.
The laboratory will then create a robust and long-lasting restoration, tailored to your individual needs. Most crowns are made from durable porcelain, which closely resembles tooth enamel in appearance. Once the crown is completed, the laboratory will ship it back to the office and the dentist will finish the procedure by firmly attaching the implant crown in place.
When dental implants are placed by an expert and properly maintained through good at-home hygiene and regular checkups, dental implants can last for 30 years or even the rest of your life.
The restoration, on the other hand, may eventually need to be replaced. This is no different than a traditional crown or denture, as the restoration experiences regular wear and tear from chewing and biting. Regular visits to the dentist will allow you to monitor the state of your restoration and the health of your implant, so you can maximize the longevity of your smile.
It is possible for dental implants to become infected, resulting in a condition known as “peri-implantitis.” However, this complication is extremely rare, and generally only occurs when the implant is not cared for properly after the placement surgery.
As long as you follow your doctor’s post-op instructions, your chances of developing an infection are very low.
Yes, and they are the only tooth replacement to do so. When you lose a tooth, your jaw is no longer being stimulated by the forces of chewing and biting. The jaw bone will begin to deteriorate, which weakens the jaw and can cause the surrounding teeth to shift or become loose.
Dental implants mimic the form and function of natural tooth roots, and are placed directly into the jaw bone. Because of this, chewing and biting forces stimulate the jaw bone just like natural teeth, which stops bone resorption from occurring in the first place.
Every implant case is different, but some patients may be able to receive an implant in a single visit. If this is a possibility for you, you’ll receive a temporary restoration to protect the implant while it heals, a process which usually takes between 3-6 months. You’ll be able to speak and eat normally in-between follow-up appointments.
Your doctor will monitor your healing progress and take impressions or digital scans of your teeth, which will be used to craft your final restoration. During your implant consultation we will help you decide what type of tooth replacement is best for you and your unique oral health needs.