Irving, TX dentist explains dental implant treatment to replace missing teeth
If you are missing teeth, you are aware of the impact it can have on your quality of life. It can cause discomfort and embarrassment, not to mention inability to speak and eat efficiently. Luckily, tooth replacement technology has come a long way in recent decades. Gone are the days of fake-looking, ill-fitting dentures. Now, patients can enjoy the stability, longevity, and natural look of dental implants. At SouthFork Dental in Irving, TX, we provide dental implants treatment as one of the most versatile and effective ways to restore your smile. In the following article, we’ll explain what dental implants are, how they improve the health and appearance of your smile, and the process for getting them.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are posts, like screws, that replace the root portion of a missing tooth. The implant procedure is straightforward and performed in office and usually only requiring local anesthetic. Once the dental implant area has healed, it can be completed with a dental crown or connected to dentures for a natural-looking smile. Dental implants carry a 95 percent success rate, which is much higher than other tooth replacement options.
How dental implant treatment works
During your procedure, the dental implant is inserted directly in the bone in the area where a tooth is missing. Gum tissue is secured over the implant and it is left to heal for several months. During this time, the implant will fuse with the jawbone to create a strong base for the final dental prosthetic. Dental implants are versatile in that they can be used to replace a single missing tooth or an entire arch of teeth.
- Single tooth implants – If you have just one missing tooth, the implant is placed directly into the area where the tooth root once was. A custom-made crown designed to match nearby teeth is then connected to the implant to fill in the hole in your smile. Dental implants will never decay or require root canals, so the restoration can be expected to last a lifetime.
- Multiple teeth implants – If you are missing more than one tooth, implants can be strategically placed in the bone throughout the arch; a one to one replacement is not necessary. If you are only missing a few teeth in a row, two implants can often be placed and then topped with a fixed bridge. If you are missing an entire arch, four to six dental implants can be placed to support the denture needed to restore appearance and functionality.
Caring for your dental implants after treatment
With good oral hygiene, dental implants can last a lifetime. While implants cannot decay, lack of good oral hygiene can lead to a bacterial infection that can compromise the implant in the bone. Regular brushing and flossing can prevent this from occurring.
If you grind or clench your teeth, it can also impact the longevity of your dental implants. Patients with bruxism may be recommended a night guard to prevent this from occurring.
Getting started with dental implant treatment
The first step to receiving dental implant treatment is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kolli. After a thorough examination and imaging, we can determine if you are a candidate for dental implants. Individuals with oral health issues such as decay or gum disease will need to have those conditions addressed prior to receiving dental implants.
Once we determine that dental implants are a good fit for you, you can schedule your visit for implant placement. The procedure is done under local anesthetic to ensure you don’t feel any discomfort or pain. Dr. Kolli will start by creating a small opening in the gum to allow access to the bone. From there, a small hole is drilled to place the implant post. The area is then covered and left to heal so the implant can fuse with the bone.
After the healing process is complete, you can return to the office to have an abutment attached to the implant. This abutment acts as the connector your dental crown or denture. Following this procedure, it will be about two more weeks before you can return to have your final restoration attached.
While the dental implant process can be lengthy, in the end it is the most cost-effective, long-term solution for missing teeth. If you are in the Irving, TX area, call Southfork Dental today at 469-535-6939 to learn more about dental implant treatment.