Patients missing a tooth or multiple teeth often discover that a dental implant may be the perfect replacement choice. A dental implant is a prosthetic device that replaces both the root and crown of the missing tooth or teeth.
There are commonly three parts to a dental implant:
- The implant itself is a small titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jaw bone and acts as the replacement for your missing tooth root.
- Another small post, called an abutment, is attached to the top of the implant. This piece protrudes through the gums and acts as a stable anchor and connector between the implant and the third part — the crown.
- The crown connects to the top of the implant and is customized to fit in your mouth like a natural tooth crown.
Whether you’ve lost a tooth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason, dental implants are a common tooth replacement solution chosen by patients.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
- Most similar to healthy, natural teeth
A dental implant fits into your mouth like any other natural tooth. In fact, many patients forget that one of their teeth isn’t a natural tooth. Unlike other replacement solutions, dental implants are anchored solidly into your mouth, allowing you to function as though your tooth was never missing.
- A long-term solution for tooth replacement
A dental implant can last a lifetime if properly placed and cared for, while traditional methods like dental bridges have only a five- to seven-year life on average. Patients with dental implants do not need to worry about implant replacement once the implant has integrated with their jaw bone, although it may need periodic adjustments. Additionally, it is no longer a concern that removable dentures or tooth-supported replacement teeth may fall out or loosen during your everyday activities.
- Easier speaking, eating, and maintenance
Because dental implants are the most similar to your natural teeth, you can enjoy chewing and biting into your favorite foods without worrying that they may slip or fall out like dentures. This also makes it easier to speak clearly and maintain the health of your surrounding teeth — you can brush, floss, and care for them just like the rest of your teeth!
- Retain natural facial aesthetics
Dental implant patients can smile confidently, knowing that their teeth look and function just like natural, healthy teeth. And since dental implants ultimately fuse with the jaw bone, patients can also avoid the common shrunken or sagging appearance that the face can take on when it is missing teeth.
- Protects healthy teeth and bone
With dental implants, there is no need to grind down healthy teeth to cement a bridge or to rely on the strength of adjacent teeth to carry the burden of a bridge. They also keep neighboring teeth from shifting, which commonly happens when a tooth is missing for an extended period. Additionally, dental implants help to prevent jaw bone deterioration that typically occurs when teeth are lost. They also help to promote continuous bone growth in younger patients who are still developing.
Am a candidate for dental implants?
If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants might be a great choice for you. If you are considering dental implants, you may need to take extra precaution if you meet one of the follow descriptions:
- You smoke on a regular basis.
- You have a history of or existing medical conditions.
- You have a history of periodontal disease or bone loss.
- You are under the age of 18.
During your initial consultation, your doctor at Oconee County Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery will perform a thorough oral examination and review your medical and dental history. You may also receive additional X-rays, 3D scanning, or CT scanning for your restorative doctor to create models for your customized crown.
What does the dental implant procedure entail?
Dental implant placement usually involves two surgical procedures, and the amount of time that the procedure takes varies depending on each patient’s individual needs. In the first procedure, the implant is placed into the jaw and fuses with the bone over time. In the second procedure, the abutment is screwed into the top of the implant and the custom crown is placed on top of the abutment. If you are in need of a bone grafting procedure to increase the height and width of your jaw, this must be done and given time to heal before implant placement.
The surgical team at Oconee County Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery have extensive experience and training in dental implant placement and are glad to share their expertise with you. If you think that you may be a candidate for a dental implant and want to learn more about the procedure, contact our office to schedule a consultation.
Where can I get dental implants placed near Watkinsville, GA?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Fred Simonton, is a specialist in providing solutions for the treatment of complex oral and dental health problems, including the replacement of missing teeth with dental implants. With two office locations in Watkinsville and Gainesville, GA, Dr. Simonton and his staff serve a wide region, including cities in Georgia, as well as cities in South Carolina and North Carolina.