Losing teeth isn’t just unsightly, it can cause further health problems. Our teeth are part of a complex structure that keeps our mouth, teeth and the supporting bone strong. When we lose a tooth, the underlying bone can atrophy and weaken. This can lead to the loss of other teeth in a domino effect, as well as a weakening of the jaw.
Whether you have missing teeth where the gap has been left open, or you wear dentures or a bridge, dental implants can offer a permanent, healthy and natural feeling solution. A dental implant looks and behaves like your natural tooth, and no special care or caution is required beyond normal oral hygiene once the implant is in place.
Implants can even be used as anchors for bridges when natural teeth are not available for this function, and in cases such as the graphic at the right are an alternative to a
How Tooth Implants Work
A tooth implant serves as an anchor for an artificial tooth. The implant itself is made from titanium and some other metals, all of which are harmless to the body. After implantation, the bone surrounding the implant will grow to support it. While this process takes several months (usually 3 to 6) the resulting implant and supporting bone are now much stronger than the area of the gap that was left by the loss of your natural tooth. Once the implant is soundly in place, a prosthetic tooth is permanently attached, seamlessly replacing your natural tooth. The result is a natural, beautiful smile and a stronger, healthier mouth.
A Very Reliable Treatment
Some 500,000 American adults receive dental implants every year, and this procedure has been around for decades. During that time significant improvements have been made and today implant procedures enjoy a 98% success rate when performed by qualified dental professionals.
Are You a Candidate?
For most people the answer is a simple ‘Yes’, however there are some conditions that make it unlikely an implant will work. If you have a chronic illness such as leukemia or diabetes, these will inhibit your ability to heal. Smoking restricts blood flow to the tissues of the mouth and causes a similar problem. Finally, if you have ever received chemotherapy or radiation to your mouth, or bone-building drugs like Fosamax or Boniva, you may not be a candidate.
Even if you’re not sure, you can receive dental implants, make an appointment to see us. We’ll carefully check over your mouth as well as your medical history and make a professional recommendation. You may be pleasantly surprised.