When most people think about missing teeth, it’s the cosmetic aspects they consider. Though missing teeth can certainly make it hard to feel confident about your smile, there are also serious dental health issues to regard.
Each of your natural teeth is anchored directly into the underlying bone tissue. When you bite down or chew, you stimulate that tissue, keeping the bone healthy and strong. Losing a tooth means losing that stimulation.
When you are missing one or more teeth, the underlying bone can begin to wear away in a process called resorption. This can weaken the connection between adjacent teeth and bone, leading to a cascade of tooth loss.
Dental implants offer a permanent replacement for missing teeth. Implants consist of a metal post that serves as an artificial tooth root and an artificial crown that replaces the visible portion of a missing tooth. Some systems use a small piece called an abutment to connect post and crown.
You can get a single dental implant to replace one missing tooth. If you need to replace all of your upper or lower teeth, there are systems that anchor an entire span of false teeth using only four implanted posts. This can be a great fit for people who lack adequate bone tissue to anchor multiple individual implants.
The planning phase is arguably the most important part of the dental implant process. Your practitioner uses advanced imaging to determine the exact angle and placement of the implanted post, which increases the chances of a successful implant procedure.
On the day of the procedure, an injection of numbing medication ensures you rest comfortably throughout the process. Your practitioner creates an incision in your gum tissue to gain access to the underlying bone and then creates a small pilot hole to guide the placement of the post.
Once the post is secured in your bone, the gums are closed and a period of healing begins. You might receive a temporary crown to preserve your smile. Once your bone tissue has fused to the metal post and your custom crown is ready, you’ll return to have the crown attached, which completes the procedure.
Sandi E. Silva, DDS, Inc. refers dental implant services to her husband, who specializes in implant dentistry. If you’d like more information about what a dental crown can do for you, call the office, or book a visit using the easy online scheduling tool.