Jawbone atrophy is bone loss in gum tissue that occurs following the loss of one or more teeth. Diminished jawbone can have a detrimental impact on neighboring teeth, and can even alter your appearance. Dental implants provide an ideal solution for missing teeth; a consultation with your periodontist will reveal all the advantages you will realize when you restore missing dentition with dental implants.
Requirements for Dental Implants
A conversation about your overall health will be held followed by a thorough dental exam. X-rays will ascertain bone strength in gum tissue where the implant is to be placed. Insufficient jawbone does not automatically eliminate your candidacy for a dental implant; there are bone augmentation procedures available, if needed.
The dental implant process can take up to a year from start to finish so a commitment from the patient is required that involves keeping the implant area clean to prevent infection. If the patient smokes or uses tobacco in any form, they are strongly urged to discontinue use to prevent implant failure.
Placing the Implant
Your periodontist will place the titanium post in gum tissue where tooth loss has occurred. Titanium is the metal of choice as it is known to resist rejection; and bone fuses with titanium incorporating the implant completely to provide solid support for the restoration that will eventually cover it.
A healing period follows. It is during this time that jawbone is merging with the implant, a process called osseointegration. Once healed and the implant is fully integrated, the restoration can be placed. The implant helps prevent bone atrophy that can occur with tooth loss.
Your dentist will have fabricated the restoration to match surrounding teeth in size, shape, and shade. The protective temporary is removed, an abutment is attached to the implant, and the restoration is tried in for fit, appearance, and function. When correct, it will be permanently cemented in place.
The patient is able to enjoy all the foods they love without fear of dental work moving; smiling and laughing without embarrassment is a reality.
Caring for your dental implanted tooth is the same as all your natural teeth. Brush twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste; floss daily to remove what your toothbrush missed; and visit our dentist as recommended for cleaning and exam. Your dental implant is designed to last for your lifetime.