If you have missing teeth, you may be wondering what your options are for replacing them. Your three primary choices are dentures, a dental bridge, or dental implants. While a severely decayed or damaged tooth can often be restored with a large filling or a crown, missing teeth need to be replaced in order to prevent further damage to your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Weissman Dental offers all types of restoration and replacement procedures, including one of the most popular: dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
In basic terms, dental implants are artificial replacements for the roots of missing teeth. They offer superior stability and comfort compared to dentures and dental bridges. Overall, getting dental implants will provide you with better chewing function, improved speech, and a more natural facial appearance. Implants are essentially anchors for missing teeth which resemble screws or cylinders and can be installed in either your upper or lower jaw. While an implant acts as the roots of a missing tooth, a crown is typically attached to an implant to serve as a functional and natural-looking replacement tooth.
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
Unlike dentures, dental implants don’t require adhesives, are not removable, and don’t need to be anchored to adjacent healthy teeth. We surgically place them directly into your jawbone, where they will typically remain covered for three to six months to allow the bone to regenerate around them to help stabilize replacement teeth. Once sufficient bone mass has developed, we will uncover the implant(s) and attach an extension, which is known as a post. At this point, your gum tissue at the treatment site needs to heal, which can take several more weeks or months. Once this healing is complete, your implants are ready to serve as anchors for your tooth replacement(s), which is typically a crown. Remember that the entire process can take anywhere from five to nine months, depending on your unique situation and recovery time. We will provide you with specific instructions about how to care for your dental implants, which you should follow carefully for the best results.
How Effective Are Dental Implants?
The success or failure of your implants will depend on several factors. However, with skillful installation and proper care, dental implants are one of the most effective replacement options for missing teeth. For the best treatment outcomes, having good overall health, healthy gums, and ample bone mass plays significant roles. In addition, where the implants are located in your mouth can affect their success. Depending on these factors, dental implants are typically about 90% successful, sometimes more. You will have more success with your implant procedure if you don’t smoke and don’t grind your teeth at night. In addition, patients with osteoporosis or diabetes often experience bone loss in their jaw, increasing the risk of complications. Lastly, poor oral hygiene can result in impaired healing or infections.
If you’ve experienced tooth loss for any reason, it’s important to address the issue with some form of replacement procedure to avoid serious problems in the future. Weissman Dental is here to help you decide if dental implants are the right solution. Give us a call at (503) 274-2222 to schedule a consultation.