Before development of dental implants, dentures or bridges were the only alternative to replace a missing tooth or teeth.
Surgery is necessary to prepare the area for a dental implant and place the implant in the upper and/or lower jaw. Following the procedure, a period of time is required for the implant to take hold (heal) and for bone tissue to build up and anchor the device.
Implants are made from a very biocompatible material, Titanium, and are made with great precision. They are surgically placed in the area that the root of the tooth normally occupied. Implants are anchored to the jawbone by a process called 'Osseointegration'. The implant is directly connected to the bone and acts as a foundation for an artificial tooth, a permanent bridge, or they can be used to attach removable dentures.
Most patients are candidate for a dental implants. However, for an implant to be successful, a candidate must have proper bone height and density and be in good health. These areas will be covered in the initial examination and through further evaluation using CAT scan imaging. Because implants require surgery, patients are administered anesthesia and, if necessary, antibiotics may be used following the procedure, as a precaution.
The restorations placed on dental implants, such as crowns and bridges, are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Complete dentures can also be attached to dental implants, thus, anchoring the denture to the implant. This allows patients to chew with much greater comfort and denture stability.
Like any restoration, implants require diligent oral hygiene and proper care to ensure they last a long time. Oral hygiene procedures will be discussed with each patient on an individual basis, depending on their implant restoration.
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