Your smile is one of the first things that a person will notice about you. A missing tooth or two can easily make an initial meeting stressful and leave you feeling uneasy. Though nothing can replace your natural teeth, dental implants come very close. An implant will look and feel like your natural teeth enabling you to talk and chew with ease. At The Center for Implant Dentistry & Oral Surgery, we are proud to offer dental implants in-office.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an effective method of replacing missing teeth. A dental implant functions as an artificial tooth root that is surgically inserted into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth securely. Dental implants can even support dentures or bridges and are indistinguishable from your natural teeth once properly fitted for your mouth.
Implants can be an excellent option for those who have missing teeth due to disease or accident/injury. It may also be an alternative for those who find wearing dentures uncomfortable or have difficulty keeping their other teeth intact due to missing teeth.
Dental implant surgery involves replacing your tooth’s roots with titanium posts and replacing the damaged or missing tooth with an artificial tooth to restore the function and appearance of your natural teeth.
Dental implants are ideal compared to other types of restorations such as dentures as they provide a more natural look and feel. They also function similar to that of your natural teeth, meaning you never have to worry about slipping or friction.
Why Should You Replace Your Missing Teeth?
Though a gap in your tooth may not bother you as much, there are other reasons why you should consider dental implants.
- Missing teeth may affect how you eat and speak
- Teeth surrounding the gap may begin to shift affecting your bite leading to other dental issues
- Bone loss may occur due to surrounding teeth becoming loose over time
- Loss of teeth and bone may change your facial structure
Various kinds of dental implants are available, depending on your needs. Treatment can take several months, so it is important to speak with your dentist to discuss which type of implant is right for you.
We value your comfort and safety during your appointments. During your consultation, we will discuss which anesthetic options are right for you such as local anesthesia, I.V sedation, or oral sedation.
The procedure for dental implants has three general steps:
Placement of the Implant
Your dentist will determine where the implant should be installed with the help of x-rays and other tests. He will then surgically place the implant into the jawbone. You may experience swelling and tenderness after the surgery. Your doctor may prescribe you medication or recommend over-the-counter medicine to ease the discomfort. A limited diet of soft foods may be required during recovery.
A dental implant is secure because the post is fused to your jawbone. This allows your bone to grow around the post as it heals, creating a firm and sturdy bond similar to that of your natural teeth. Bones take time to heal, so it may take several months before you can receive a replacement tooth. However, some may receive temporary replacement teeth earlier. The healing process is different for everyone because it depends on the patient, condition of the jaw, location of the implant, and type.
In some cases, your dentist may recommend using PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma, to help accelerate your healing process. PRP injections are created using stem cells from your own blood to help reduce the chance of an adverse reaction. Your blood will be drawn and spun in a centrifuge to concentrate the stem cells. Once concentrated, it will be injected into the injured area. This boost of stem cells can help you heal faster than before.
Placement of Prosthesis
Once your jaw has healed, your dentist will remove the temporary teeth and replace them with custom-made teeth designed to look, feel, and act like natural teeth. These custom-made dental crowns or teeth will match in size, shape, and color to your other teeth for a natural appearance.
In some cases, an immediate implant can be placed the same day as your tooth extraction. This allows for minimal disruption in the patient’s life and expedited treatment time.
What Type of Prosthesis Are Available?
We provide a variety of prostheses to suit your dental needs. A single crown can be used to replace a missing tooth. If several teeth are missing, a fixed bridge can be used to secure several implants. If you wish to replace all the teeth along your upper or lower jaw, we offer complete dental prostheses, such as dentures.
During your consultation, we will discuss the number of implants required to help you achieve your desired results. We offer both removal and fixed prostheses.
Are You an Ideal Candidate?
Good general and oral health are essential when it comes to considering dental implants as a treatment for your missing teeth. Your health is more important than your age when it comes to implants, as adequate bone health is needed in your jaw to support implants. The best candidates are those who are free of periodontal disease (gum disease).
You will have to be medically evaluated by a physician before any surgery can be scheduled. Those who suffer from chronic illness may not be ideal candidates as slow healing may make patients more prone to infections.
Facial bone structure is important to your dental health for several reasons. The jaw and facial bones support the muscles and other soft tissues responsible for the outward appearance and functionality of our jaw and teeth. Many restorative dental procedures such as implants, require strong and healthy bone structure to support restorations for optimal recovery and success.
If you do not have enough bone to provide sufficient foundation for your implants. We may recommend bone grafting. Bone grafting is a procedure designed to restore bone loss in the jaw. These procedures are commonly performed following tooth loss, tooth extraction, severe gum disease, or significant trauma. During the procedure, a section of bone or a special bone grafting material is grafted into your jawbone so your jaw can become strong enough to support your dental restorations.
Dental implants should be treated the same as your natural teeth. Brushing and flossing regularly at home, along with routine exams by your dentist will help keep your teeth plaque-free and clean. By taking proper care of your implants, your implants will serve you for years to come.
Why Choose Center for Implant Dentistry & Oral Surgery?
At the Center for Implant Dentistry & Oral Surgery, Dr. Erpardo believes in using a whole team approach when it comes to ensuring your oral health.
During your consultation, Dr. Erpardo will use imaging to help determine the best treatment plan for your needs including the size and type of implant necessary. Our office uses the latest technology in designing and crafting restorative implants that can provide you with superior long-lasting results.
Our entire team is dedicated to providing you with quality, personalized care and ensuring you feel comfortable and safe in our office from the moment you step in.
For more information on dental implants and our services contact our office today at (248) 702-6622.