you are missing one or more teeth or are bothered by dentures
or partials that slip, dental implants may be right for you!
Besides the obvious cosmetic inconvenience of missing teeth,
additional oral and general health problems may
result when teeth are not replaced. Missing teeth can result
in "tooth extrusion" or movement of another tooth into
the empty space. Shifting or movement of adjacent teeth that
occurs when tooth roots are not present may require additional
orthodontic treatment to correct. Because of the misalignment
that occurs due to shifting of teeth, the teeth may be more susceptible
to decay and gum disease, eventually causing more tooth loss.
Missing teeth can also decrease chewing ability and may also
If your upper jaw or lower jaw is "edentulous" meaning
all the teeth in that jaw are missing, "bone resorption"
will occur in that jaw. The body "resorbs" the jawbone
that used to surround the roots, causing the bone to "shrink".
This frequently causes problems for denture wearers because as
the jawbone shrinks, their dentures become loose and don't fit
properly. When dental implants are used to support a denture
or replace missing teeth, jawbone loss is reduced or eliminated.
What is a Dental Implant?
Natural teeth are stable biting and chewing surfaces because
the tooth roots are firmly anchored and supported by the surrounding
jawbone. Dental implants function much the same way. Implants
are tooth root substitutes that look, feel and function much
like the roots of natural teeth. Dental implants can replace
a single missing tooth, several missing teeth or all of your
have shown dental implants to have a high rate of success, and
can last for many years when cared for properly.
The implant itself is a tiny metal cylinder that is surgically
inserted in the jawbone and functions as the replacement root
for one or more artificial (called prosthetic) teeth. There are
many different types of dental implants. Your surgeon will choose
the one that best suits your particular situation.
The material used for the dental implant is biocompatible, meaning
it is well accepted by the body. Over time, the jawbone surrounding
the implant grows into the implant surfaces and attaches to the
implant, anchoring it firmly in place. This process of bone attachment
is known as "osseointegration".
A single tooth implant involves three separate parts: the implant
root, the post that supports the artificial tooth (known as the
abutment) and the prosthetic tooth. The artificial tooth or crown
may be cemented onto the post or held in place with a tiny screw.
Because they are stronger than natural tooth roots, several missing
teeth can often be replaced with fewer implants.
Endosteal implants can provide a method for anchoring an upper
or lower denture, for replacing a full or partial denture with
fixed bridgework, or can replace a single missing tooth.
The Implant Procedure:
For most people, placing dental implants involves two surgical
procedures and one or more restorative visits to place your new
teeth. On your first visit, the implants are placed in your jawbone
where your tooth roots used to be. Over the next three to six
months, the jawbone grows into the implant, anchoring it firmly
in place. At your next visit, your surgeon will uncover the implant
and attach a small post used to support the artificial tooth.
Once your new teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen.
Can you benefit from Dental Implants?
Dental implants can be used in people of all ages, however,
you must be evaluated by your surgeon and restorative dentist
to determine if you are a good candidate. Dental implants can
improve the way you live. With dental implants, you will rediscover
the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and smile!