Losing a tooth due to injury, dental decay, or gum disease can happen. However, in order to avoid causing problems for the adjacent teeth and your overall dental health, it is important to replace the tooth that has been lost. This can be done any number of ways including fixed bridges, removable partial or full dentures as well as a more recent procedure known as dental implants.
One of the most significant dental innovations in recent times, an implant is a small surgical fixture made of biocompatible metal or ceramic materials that is placed into the jawbone and functions in the same manner as the root of tooth. In the same way that natural root supports the natural crown of your tooth, an implant once it fully integrates with the surrounding bone, provides a stable and durable foundation for a replacement tooth. Implants often support a crown for an individual tooth, but can also be used as abutment teeth for a dental bridge, or strategically placed to help stabilize a denture.
Out of all the restorative choices available today, an implant comes the closest to replicating the look, feel and function of a natural tooth. Furthermore, it is the only method of tooth replacement that does not require the involvement or preparation of the adjacent teeth. A dental implant also stimulates bone remodeling to prevent shrinkage in areas where teeth are missing and helps to restore facial contours in areas where significant bone loss has occurred.
What is the best method of replacing missing teeth? Are dental implants worth it?
If you’ve lost a tooth due to injury, decay, gum disease, or any other reason, we recommend dental implants to replace missing teeth. Dental implants come the closest to replicating the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth.
Are dental implants painful?
Dental implants are placed into the jawbone and mirror the same function as the root of a tooth. The procedure for dental implants is usually performed while a patient is sedated. Patients who undergo IV sedation must have an empty stomach and transportation home following the procedure. Most sedation patients will have little to no memory of the procedure occurring.
What are dental implants made of?
Generally, dental implants are made out of a biocompatible metal such as titanium. Biocompatible metals are also used for other common bone implants (such as shoulder, hip, and knee replacements). The visible portion of the implant is usually made out of porcelain and is custom-made to match your existing teeth.
Are dental implants permanent?
Dental implants are designed to fuse to the bone, which makes them become permanent fixtures. Typically speaking, the success rate is nearly 100%. There are few cases in which the implant will not fuse as intended and must be removed. If this happens to occur, the procedure can be attempted again a few months later.
Are dental implants expensive?
Dental implants are not usually covered by dental insurance, but may be covered under a patient’s medical insurance. The office of West County Smile and your insurance company can discuss coverage options with you based on your individual case and treatment plan.
How do I care for my dental implants?
It’s easy… just take care of an implant as if it’s a natural tooth! This involves regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups. If you have any concerns about your implant, contact West County Smile immediately.