Dental implants are an increasingly popular way to replace missing teeth. They not only support crowns, bridges, and dentures, but they also take the place of the roots themselves. Portland Periodontics offers dental implants in Portland, OR.
Dental implants are fixtures of titanium, which are surgically placed into your jawbone. The implant acts as an anchor for a crown or denture to fit over. When a crown is placed on an implant, most people can’t even tell it is an implant because it is so natural looking.
Why Dental Implants?
People choose dental implants because they have missing teeth. It’s extremely important to replace these teeth for the following reasons:
- Increased self-confidence
- To retain the presence of jawbone that dissolves once teeth are lost
- Movement of teeth that makes them difficult to clean, resulting in tooth decay and gum disease
- Bite problems, leading to TMJ
- Poor nutrition, stemming from the inability to chew food
Whether you’re missing a few teeth or several teeth, replacing them is vital for good overall health.
Advantages to Dental Implants
Implants are not only used to replace a single tooth but can also benefit people who may be missing several or all of their teeth. Implants are increasingly being used to replace bridges and removable partial dentures.
While dentures and removable partials are usually loose and unstable, implants provide you with dental replacements that are natural looking and very functional. Implants look and feel better than removable dentures and offer the same force for biting as bridges that are fixed. Best of all, they may last a lifetime if properly maintained.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Begin with a consultation with your dentist to determine if dental implants are right for you. Your dentist will also perform a complete exam, possibly involving x-rays to determine if any jawbone loss has occurred. It is very important that you have enough bone in the area of the missing tooth or teeth for the attachment of the implants. If you don’t have enough bone, a bone graft may be necessary.
Dental Implant Procedure and Recovery
The process of placing dental implants begins with a comprehensive examination of the quality and quantity of existing gum and bone by Dr. Goldwyn, and may sometimes require digital images to locate the position of important anatomical structures.
Dental implants replace the roots of teeth and support prosthetic teeth. Dental Implants require a two-step process: the surgical procedure followed by the restorative procedure.
The surgical procedure involves the placement of medical-grade titanium screws that are inserted into the jawbone beneath the gums. Once Dr. Goldwyn places a titanium screw, surrounding gum tissue covers the implant. If the implant is stable enough, a healing cap is placed. The jawbone and implant are then allowed to form a strong bond.
This part of the process can take up to six months, and is followed by abutments placed on top of the titanium screws. These abutments hold the crowns in place, and gum tissue grows around the temporary crowns (if placed) naturally over time. Once permanent crowns are placed, the process is complete.
However, diligent daily oral hygiene is required for implants to stay clean and healthy. It’s also important to regularly visit your dentist and periodontist for routine follow-up appointments and cleanings to keep your new smile healthy and bright!