If you have missing teeth or loose dentures, dental implants are a great solution. They can be placed in as little as 15 minutes with virtually no pain or downtime. Dental implants are safe and biocompatible, and made of an orthopedic sterile titanium alloy similar to other medical implants used in joint replacement and heart stents. The procedure is done under local anesthesia where the implant is placed into the jaw bone and allowed to heal for approximately 3 months. After 3 months, the implant becomes fused to your jaw bone and can be used to restore missing teeth or secure loose dentures. If you have several missing teeth, a single missing tooth, or no teeth at all, dental implants can dramatically improve your quality of life.
Do I Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?
For many people the primary concern surrounding missing teeth is a cosmetic one. While this is understandable and it is certainly important to feel confident in your appearance, missing teeth can pose additional problems as well. Missing teeth put extra strain on the other teeth and can lead to wear and tear, cracks, and even further tooth loss. Missing teeth can cause changes in the way you speak, difficulty when you eat, and can change the shape of your face.
Am I a Candidate for Implants?
Not everybody is a good candidate for implants. Because implants are attached directly to the jaw bone, it is important that you have enough healthy jaw bone to support the implant. In addition to the quantity and quality of your jaw bone, most dental implant candidates need to meet these additional criteria as well:
- Your gums are healthy and free from advanced periodontal disease.
- You are committed to good oral hygiene habits and regular professional dental check-ups and cleanings.
- You don’t smoke excessively. Excessive smoking jeopardizes healing and can lead to implant rejection.
If you have a serious health condition like heart disease or diabetes and are interested in dental implants, call our office. We will evaluate your options on a case-by-case basis and work together to make a decision that will be right for you.
What Does Dental Implant Placement Entail?
Once we’ve determined that dental implants are a good choice for you, the first step will be to place the implant. Most people are concerned that placing an implant is painful. On the contrary, most single implant placements are virtually painless. If you remain apprehensive about the procedure, Dr. Briese can offer Oral Conscious Sedation (OCS) to relieve any stress or anxiety.
Once the implant is placed, it forms a biologic connection - fusing directly into the bone and will hold your implant restoration in place. In order for this biologic connection to occur, we must allow the implant to heal for a period of 3 months depending on location and bone quality.
When the area is healed, you will return to our office so that we can take x-rays and impressions. The dental lab will use these to reconstruct a new tooth for you. A connector post, known as an abutment, will be placed on the titanium post, and when the new tooth is ready, it will be attached to the abutment. Your new tooth is designed to perfectly match the rest of your teeth in color and shape. Most people will never be able to tell that you have an implant; they will just see an attractive smile.
Caring for Dental Implants
Dental implants don’t require any special care other than the regular brushing and flossing that you should already be doing. Dr. Briese will check your implants when you get your regular dental examination to make sure that everything looks good. With a commitment to good oral hygiene, your new dental implants should last you for a lifetime.
Call our Rayne dental office today to find out if dental implants are a good choice for you.