Dental implants are beneficial for those with missing teeth in many ways, including improving oral health, eliminating discomfort associated with removable dentures, improving speech, and helping you to eat and chew more easily. The crowns which attach to dental implants are matched to your natural teeth, and can help improve the appearance of your teeth and increase your self-esteem. Many patients find that they are much more convenient than removable dentures, and with proper care, dental implants and crowns can last a lifetime.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are replacements for the root of the tooth. They are put into place to be a foundation for replacement teeth, which may be either permanent (fixed) or removable. Dental implants are placed within the jawbone, making them a strong and permanent foundation for the artificial tooth.
What is a Dental Implant Procedure Like?
The techniques used to place dental implants vary depending on the condition of your jawbone and the specific type of implant used. Generally, the patient will first require a comprehensive dental exam, in which X-rays will be taken and your medical history will be reviewed.
After a comprehensive exam and your dentist has developed a treatment plan, the dental implant procedure starts with the administration of sedation or anesthesia. The damaged tooth is then removed. In some cases, bone grafting is required for those who have thin or soft jawbones. This must be complete in advance of placing the implant, as the bone may take several months to grow sufficiently to support the implant. After making an incision in the gums, holes are drilled into the bones to place the metal post of the dental implant. Once the post is placed, the bones will grow into and around its surface in a process called osseointegration, which can take several months. Finally, when the dental implant is solidly in place, an abutment, or the piece where the crown is attached, may be placed. After the gums have healed from placing the abutment, which typically takes about two weeks, the artificial tooth, known as a crown, is placed and the process is complete.
Do I Need Dental Implants?
Patients who have missing or damaged teeth may be candidates for dental implants. Dental implants may be a good option for those who do not wish to have removable dentures or other false teeth or if your dentist wishes to avoid putting stress on neighboring teeth that occurs through the use of a dental bridge. Generally, dental implants are not suitable for patients whose jawbones have not fully grown, smoke tobacco, have health conditions which affect bone healing, or have health concerns regarding their oral tissue. A qualified and experienced dentist will be able to advise you on whether dental implants are the most suitable option for you.
Schedule an Appointment
If you believe you may need dental implants, schedule an appointment with Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates DDS in Cincinnati, Ohio. Request your first appointment online or call our office at (513) 631-6600.