What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are an ideal solution for tooth replacement. An implant is comprised of multiple components:
- The implant itself is placed into the jaw bone and replaces the root of the missing tooth. As bone fuses around to the implant, the implant acts as an anchor that will hold and support the visible portion of the tooth above the gum line.
- The abutment is attached to the implant via a small screw. The abutment will hold the crown that will be placed onto the tooth
- The implant crown is attached to the abutment. This crown becomes a natural part of your smile, blending in color and shape to the surrounding teeth.
Implants have been used routinely to replace missing teeth for over 35 years, and have an outstanding long-term prognosis.
Who is a candidate for an implant?
Most patients are great candidates for implants, though those who smoke and with certain medical conditions may require special attention. While there are some ceramic implants being placed, most implants placed in the US are titanium. Titanium is used because it is highly biocompatible and fuses very well to the surrounding bone.
Why choose an implant over other dental treatment options?
Dental implants are a comfortable and feel like your natural teeth. They are a permanent solution that enables you to eat the healthy foods you love.
Dental implants may also help retain the overall shape and appearance of your face. When teeth are missing, the jaw bone begins to erode. However, implants stimulate and maintain the health of the bone. This provides a more youthful appearance than dentures, in which the supporting bone can slowly erode, causing a more sagged or sunken look.
Unlike a fixed bridge, which can also be used to replaced missing teeth, implants do not require the preparation or destruction of any adjoining natural tooth structure. Bridges are cemented to adjacent teeth, which must be prepared to hold the bridge. The preparation involves removing healthy, natural tooth structure.
Implants: Procedure Overview
Implant placement and restoration requires multiple visits. Because each case is different, there may be some variation in the amount of appointments required. However, our goal at Brooklyn Dental Studio is to place and restore the implant and provide you with the best results in as few visits as possible.
During your first visit, your dentist will determine if implants are an appropriate treatment option. You will then have a 3D scan of your jaw. The scan will enable the dentists to see the surrounding bone and plan the exact location of your implant.
You will meet with one of our partnered oral surgeons to have the implants placed. Once placed, we need to provide the bone some time to heal and fuse with the implant before we place a final restoration. This can take anywhere from three to six months. Once the bone is healed you can return to our practice so the final restoration can be placed.
Implants: Benefits of Early Treatment
Missing teeth, while not an immediate risk to your oral health or smile, may cause significant changes in a relatively short period of time:
- The jaw bone beneath the missing tooth may begin to erode. This may make treatment in the future more difficult as implants require a certain amount of bone and bone density.
- Teeth in the same arch tend to shift toward the space created from the missing teeth. The shift in the location of the existing teeth may lead to problems with your bite, spaces developing between your remaining teeth, and tooth fracture.
- Teeth in the opposing arch, directly beneath the space created from the missing tooth/teeth, may erupt further. This can lead to additional challenges when it comes time to replace missing teeth.