Implant Dentistry 101

Conversations jump topics frequently. Maybe it’s because attention spans are tested these days.

Information flows freely. That’s a good thing but it can make you pause and wonder, “Now what was it you were saying about…?”

That said dental implants are a dominant theme on this blog. I cover a variety of related topics here.

It’s important that you understand all the so called ins-and-outs, or 101-level information about implant treatment. Having covered some of those corollary topics, let’s return to the basics for a moment.

Fill in the gaps

A discussion about dental implants typically begins with a missing tooth or teeth. Losing a tooth triggers a series of emotions, panic for starters.

But once the panic subsides, it’s easy to become accustomed to the space left behind. But ignoring tooth loss is where your problems begin.

A missing tooth or teeth affects more than your smile or the embarrassment that you might feel as result. Tooth loss impacts your lifestyle.

The most noticeable areas are speaking and chewing. And the challenge remains until you learn to compromise and alternate your routine.

Your teeth begin to shift and move not long after tooth loss. The damage caused by shifting teeth is a priority concern.

Also, plaque often hides in your missing tooth gaps. This increases the potential for tooth decay to take hold and lead to other dental treatment or worse, gum disease.

Stop it before it starts

You have options for tooth replacement. Implant dentistry is popular for restoring your natural tooth function.

Unlike implants, dentures sit on top of your gums. A dental bridge depends on the anchoring support of your adjacent teeth.

The implant integrates with your jawbone and gum tissue to prohibit tooth movement and further damage to your gum and bone tissue. Dental implants look and function as your natural teeth.

A solution that lasts

Implants can replace a single tooth or several teeth. Dental implants are also a common support for securing a dental bridge or implant-supported dentures.

Implant treatment is a more permanent solution than dentures, partial dentures, or dental bridges. Your cost comparison should consider the long-term effectiveness of dental implants over other tooth replacement solutions.

What to expect

Your dental implants treatment can most often be completed in two to three phases. Keep in mind that your implant treatment is an oral surgery procedure using local anesthesia and/or sedation dentistry (if you choose).

Phase one: involves the actual placement of your titanium implant within your jawbone. Your gum tissue is placed over your dental implant to begin the initial healing process.

This allows your new implant to fuse to your bone (osseointegration). The osseointegration period usually lasts three to six months as healing occurs.

Phase two and three: your post is placed within your dental implant. This extends above your gum line and creates the location for your new, visible tooth.

A dental crown will be placed on the post once your gum tissue has healed. The crown, post (abutment), and implant fill the missing tooth gap and give you a secure, functional new tooth.

There are many questions and considerations for dental implant treatment. Cover the basics of implant dentistry with a consultation in our Wayne dental office.