Although teeth are intended to last a lifetime with proper care, sometimes losing a tooth in adulthood is inevitable. A number of factors contribute to the loss of permanent teeth, some of the most common include advanced gum disease, extensive and untreated tooth decay, and traumatic dental injuries where a tooth is dislodged or knocked out from its socket. In the past, dentists normally addressed tooth loss with prosthetics such as bridges or full and partial dentures. Fortunately, patients today have more options that are durable, long lasting, and natural looking.
Dental implants, for example, have revolutionized the way dentists replace teeth. Unlike prosthetics, which require replacement over time, dental implants have a much longer lifespan. In fact, with proper care and placement, implants can last a lifetime. An additional benefit to replacing teeth with implants is that implants are treated just like natural teeth; you will brush, floss, and eat as you normally would.
Implants can replace a single tooth or support prosthetics such as a dentures. For single tooth replacements, dental implants consist of two components: a titanium rod and a custom crown. The titanium rod possesses a screw-like texture and is surgically placed into the jawbone where a tooth’s roots once were. Patients will then enter a recovery period where the implant will stabilize through a process called osseointegration. This involves a biological process by which the jawbone will slowly fuse around the titanium rod over a period of time. Once this process is complete, patients will return to our office for the placement of the crown. The crown will be attached to an abutment on the rod where it will provide support to adjacent teeth and the biting surface needed to restore oral function.
Because this method of replacing teeth is biocompatible, dental implants are viewed as the ideal option for patients with missing teeth. To learn more about restoring your smile, contact TLC Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with our skilled and compassionate dental team.