It’s estimated that 10% of all adults in America have at least one missing tooth. The traditional approach for treating missing teeth has involved bridges, partials, or full dentures. Fortunately, modern techniques
Dental implants are made of titanium or
If you’re considering dental implants, the first step is to talk to your dentist. He or she will review your records, x-rays, examine your current oral health, and discuss your long-term smile goals. It’s extremely important to ensure that there is enough healthy bone to support implants, as the jaw can sometimes “shrink” if too much time has passed or there is evidence of gum disease.
If you have good bone density, your dentist should be able to install the titanium implant in your mouth as soon as you can schedule the procedure.
Compared to removable dentures or fixed bridges, implants offer many significant benefits, such as:
Conventional types of tooth replacement either require reshaping healthy teeth or wearing bulky removable prosthetics that can sometimes cause discomfort. If you already have a denture, it may be possible to retrofit it to affix onto dental implants for added stability and convenience.
Other treatments may seem slightly cheaper
On occasion, a sinus lift or bone graft may be needed to make room in the upper jaw.
If your jaw lacks bone density, there are two options for the bone graft. The traditional way is the use of a donor site from your own body, usually the hip or possibly a rib. This is usually completed in a hospital, under sedation. Advances in medical technology have provided us a less invasive way to graft bone with the use of xenografts: sterilized mineral content derived from bovine, or cow bone. Synthetic bone is also available. The minerals are absorbed and trick your body into regenerating your own bone.
It typically takes about 6 months for a bone graft site to heal and thicken to the point that it can support an implant. After the implant has been placed in the bone, it can take from 6 weeks to 6 months for the implant to complete osseointegration (new bone fusion with the implant.) This process allows the titanium implant to become a structural, functional part of the bite, much like a natural tooth.
Once everything has healed, a crown, bridge, or denture will be affixed to