While there are many methods available for replacing missing teeth, only one method offers full-blown replacement of the tooth root as well as the visible crown portion. The root is responsible for many functions, including bone stimulation and blood flow. Both of these functions matter when it comes to your oral health, and dental implants offer a comprehensive solution that you won’t find elsewhere. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Lewis today to see if dental implants are right for your next tooth replacement!
When we talk about dental implants, we are often referring specifically to the titanium post that sits inside of your bone and soft tissue. However, your dental implant will also include a restoration that sits on top, as well as an abutment that connects the two components together. It is considered a surgical treatment and it will take several months to receive your permanent tooth replacement, so keep this in mind going forward.
Since dental implants replace the root and the tooth, you can expect long-term benefits that you won’t find anywhere else. For example, your bone tissue will no longer resorb back into your body, which is typical for tooth loss. This means you can retain your jaw’s fullest biting strength and prevent changes in your facial appearance. This is thanks to the implant’s biocompatibility and osseointegration, which is defined as the process in which man-made materials naturally integrate with organic structures, such as bone tissue.
Additionally, your dental implant is designed to last well over 25 years. In most cases, they remain healthy for the remainder of the patient’s life. They feel almost indistinguishable from natural teeth and look more lifelike than any other tooth replacement option. Plus, if you care about maintaining your existing tooth enamel, you won’t have to modify them to have implants placed because the titanium post does all of the heavy lifting.
Dental implants are often ideal for older patients who have experienced tooth loss, but they can be used in a variety of circumstances and placed in a wide array of patients. Whether you need to replace one tooth or multiple teeth at a time, they can be utilized to the fullest.
A single titanium post is placed inside of the jaw and given time to heal, while the abutment and restoration are placed after the implant has fully integrated. We will always use a porcelain crown to cover the implant to ensure the most natural-looking esthetics possible.
Replacing several teeth is done by placing multiple implants in the jaw at a time, typically two to hold a dental bridge. Since dental bridges require removal of existing tooth enamel, implant-retained bridges are ideal if you want to maintain as much enamel as possible.
To replace all teeth in a given arch, a series of implants are placed throughout the jaw, typically four to six, so they can be paired with a denture. The denture then snaps onto the implants, offering improved stability and longevity.
Dr. Lewis partners with local dental implant specialist Dr. Fatima Robertson, who performs the surgical portion of treatment for your convenience. This is considered the first part of your actual placement (not including the planning phase where we confirm the location of your new tooth and the number of teeth that need to be replaced. After the implant is placed and had time to heal, she’ll place the abutment. Then, you’ll come back to our office for the final restoration.
While dental implants can have a higher upfront cost than traditional methods, it’s important to acknowledge that your treatment will likely vary in costs from someone else’s. For example, the number of teeth you are replacing, the type of teeth you are replacing, and any preparatory treatments you intend to complete (i.e. gum therapy, bone grafts) can all influence your total cost. With that said, dental implants are a tooth replacement that’s designed to last for decades at a time, helping you save on long-term treatment costs that often accompany bridges and dentures.