Can Dental Implants Replace Your Missing Tooth?

Can Dental Implants Replace Your Missing Tooth? from Dental Center of the Carolinas in Winston-Salem, NCDental implants are an option for people who need to replace one or more missing teeth. The process involves several steps during which a metal post is surgically mounted into the jaw. The replacement tooth or crown is then secured to the implant, holding the new tooth firmly in place.

Why replacing teeth is important

Missing teeth can have an adverse impact on your overall health and well-being in addition to your self-esteem. Even missing teeth that are not noticeable to others can affect your facial muscles and jaw. Since teeth work together to help you chew, even one missing molar can have a negative impact on your ability to speak and eat comfortably.

If your jawbone breaks down and your facial muscles shift, the entire shape of your face can change. Additionally, with the gap in between teeth, the surrounding teeth can shift causing issues such as tooth grinding, tooth sensitivity, and difficulty chewing.

How dental implants are placed

The insertion of dental implants involves outpatient surgery conducted through several stages. Healing time between procedures is required. The steps for placing dental implants are:

  • Removal of the damaged tooth
  • Preparation of the jawbone, including grafting, if necessary
  • Placement of the dental implant
  • Time for bone growth and recovery
  • Placement of the abutment
  • Placement of the artificial tooth

It takes months to get through the entire dental implant process. A lot of that time is spent allowing bone growth and healing. In some instances, certain steps can be integrated. This is dependent upon how much bone growth is necessary for your mouth.

Insertion of the implant

When placing the implant, the dentist cuts the gum open to reveal the bone and then drills holes into the bone. The implant's metal post is placed into the hole in the jaw. This post acts as the root of the crown and is therefore implanted deep into the bone.

Allowing the bone to grow

After the implant post has been placed in the jawbone, your dentist allows time for the bone to grow and merge into the post. This process is lengthy and often requires several months to form a sturdy base for the crown.

Placing the abutment

The abutment is the piece that will attach to the crown. To place an abutment. the dentist reopens the gum and attaches the abutment to the dental implant. The tissue is then sealed around the equipment but not over it. This is to allow the new tooth to be attached properly after the gum has healed. The healing process takes around two weeks for most patients.

Placing the new tooth

After all of the other prep work, your mouth is finally ready for a crown. The artificial tooth is screwed or cemented onto the implant abutment. Care for your dental implants the same way you would care for your natural teeth.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants in Winston-Salem, NC

Conclusion

Though the dental implant process is long and cumbersome, it is worthwhile to chew comfortably again. Continue to see your dentist regularly to keep all of your teeth in working condition.

Request an appointment or call Dental Center of the Carolinas at 336-542-2184 for an appointment in our Winston-Salem office.

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