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Your Oral Health

Dental Implants

Dental Implants act and feel like natural teeth, and in many cases have an advantage over more traditional replacement methods. Discuss using implants as an option when appropriate with your dental care provider.

What is a Dental Implant?

  
There are basically two types of dental implants: those that sit on top of the jaw but under the gums, and those that fit into the jawbone, similar to the root of a natural tooth. Each type of dental implant offers solid, nonmobile support for replacement teeth, which act and feel like natural teeth. Since both types are attached to the jawbone, they can provide distinct advantages over traditional methods of replacing missing teeth.
  
Typically when someone loses a tooth, a conventional bridge is performed to replace it. A conventional bridge requires that the healthy teeth on either side of the space be cut down and crowned to support the bridge. However, when the teeth on either side of the space are in good health, an implant may be used. The implant is the most conservative means of replacing the missing tooth because the adjacent healthy teeth do not have to be used to help support the replacement tooth. 
  

How Long Does Treatment Take?

  
Treatment time from placement of the implants until final restoration may take three to 12 months. The healing time is determined on an individual basis and by the type of implant used.  
     

How Can Someone Benefit from Dental Implants?
  

Dental implants can do many things to improve your appearance, oral health, and overall health. Implants can:
  
  • Restore proper chewing functions, allowing you to enjoy foods that previously were too difficult to eat and improving nutrition.
  • Allow you to feel confident that replacement teeth won’t move or loosen.
  • Replace missing teeth with the look, feel, and function of natural teeth without having to “cut down” adjacent healthy teeth.
  

Who is Eligible for Dental Implants?
 

In general, almost anyone healthy enough to undergo routine tooth extraction or oral surgery is probably able to receive an implant. You will also need to have adequate bone density at the site of the proposed implant. A dentist can do a careful evaluation of your health history to determine if you would be a candidate for treatment. Although age is not a factor, certain chronic diseases, as well as alcohol and tobacco usage, can be contributing factors in preventing anyone from experiencing the full benefits of dental implant treatment. Dental implants offer some of the best restorative results possible in modern dentistry. Please consult your dentist to see if you would benefit from the use of dental implants.