A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the bone. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth:
Dr. John first replaces the root with a dental implant. 2-3 months is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.
A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant
A new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment, by your dentist. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed.
There is not one standard treatment that suits everyone. There are many treatment and restorative options available. During your consultation appointment, you will be given the various options for your specific need.
There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between a Surgeon and a restorative Dentist. Dr. John performs the initial tooth extraction, bone grafting as needed and the actual implant surgery. The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
REPLACING MISSING TEETH
Your teeth affect your whole body. When they’re healthy, you’re healthier too. A missing tooth can affect your bite, speech and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance they will wear out prematurely, or be damaged or lost. You may also experience headaches and/or jaw pain.
The natural consequence of missing teeth is loss of bone. Generally, people will lose 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss.
Dental implants are more easily placed when teeth are first extracted because bone replacement becomes more complex as time passes. Implants act just like your natural teeth. They safeguard and preserve your bone structure, oral health and appearance.
Your dentist and the implant surgeon will provide you with options so that you can make the most informed decision concerning tooth replacement.