If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, a dental implant may be the right replacement choice for you. A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth replacement that replaces both the root and crown of your missing tooth or teeth.
There are three parts to a dental implant:
- The implant itself is a small titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jaw bone and acts as the replacement for your missing tooth root.
- Another small post is attached to the top of the implant and is called the abutment. This piece protrudes through the gums and acts as a stable anchor and connector between the implant and the third part – the crown.
- The crown connects to the top of the implant and is custom created to fit in your mouth like a natural tooth crown.
Whether teeth have been lost due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason, dental implants are a common tooth replacement solution chosen by patients.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
- Most similar to healthy, natural teeth
A dental implant fits into your mouth like any other natural tooth. In fact, many patients forget that they even have an implant. Unlike other replacement solutions, dental implants are anchored solidly in your mouth, allowing you to function as though your tooth was never missing.
- A long-term solution for tooth replacement
While traditional methods, such as tooth-supported dental bridges, have a 10- to 15-year life on average, a dental implant can last a lifetime if properly placed and cared for. While the implant may need periodic adjustments, patients do not need to worry about implant replacement once it has integrated with their jaw bone.
- Easier speaking, eating, and maintenance
With dental implants, you can enjoy chewing and biting into your favorite foods without worrying that they might slip or fall out like dentures. This also makes it easier to speak clearly and maintain the health of your surrounding teeth — you can brush, floss, and care for them just like the rest of the teeth in your mouth!
- Retain natural facial aesthetics
Dental implant patients can smile confidently knowing that their teeth look and function just like their natural, healthy teeth. They can also avoid the common shrunken or sagging appearance that the face can take on when it is missing teeth.
- Protects healthy teeth and bone
With dental implants, there is no need to grind down healthy teeth to cement a bridge or rely on the strength of adjacent teeth to carry the burden of a bridge. Dental implants also keep adjacent teeth from shifting, a common occurrence when a tooth is missing for an extended period of time. Additionally, dental implants help prevent the jaw bone deterioration that commonly occurs when teeth are lost.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
If you have lost a tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants may be a great choice for you. During your initial consultation, the doctors at Oral Surgery Specialists of Atlanta will perform a thorough oral exam and review of your medical and dental history. Additional X-rays may be taken, including 3D CT scanning, to further diagnose and plan treatment for your individual case.
If you are considering dental implants, you may need to take extra precaution if you meet one of the following descriptions:
- You smoke on a regular basis.
- You have a history of or existing medical conditions.
- You have a history of periodontal disease or bone loss.
- You are under the age of 18.
The surgical team at Oral Surgery Specialists of Atlanta have extensive experience and training in dental implant placement, and we are happy to share our expertise with you. If you think that you may be a candidate for a dental implant and want to learn more about the procedure, we encourage you to visit our office for an initial consultation.