Do you have missing teeth, failed dentistry, or loose dentures? If so, dental implants are the answer to your problem. Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth or provide extra support and stability for removable prosthodontics such as dentures and partials.
Frequently Asked Questions
A dental implant is used to replace one or more missing teeth. It consists of an artificial tooth “root” and an artificial tooth that sits on top of the “root.” The “root” is usually made of titanium, and the artificial tooth is typically a porcelain crown. This dental appliance is called an implant because it is literally implanted into the jawbone of the patient. After a certain period of time – typically several months – the implant fuses to the patient’s bone. After that, the artificial tooth (a crown) is permanently affixed to the top of the implant.
If you are missing one or more teeth, it’s important to replace those teeth so that your other natural teeth won’t shift in place to fill in the gap – something that can cause a host of other problems. Although you can replace missing teeth in a variety of different ways, such as dental bridges or partial dentures, many patients prefer dental implants because they are a more permanent solution. Dental implants cannot be removed and, if properly cared for, can last throughout a patient’s lifetime. Other options, such as bridges or partials, have a tendency to move around or slip in a patient’s mouth, which can affect chewing and talking. Dental implants never slip or move because the artificial tooth is firmly affixed to the artificial root, which is imbedded into the patient’s jaw.
The first step in getting a dental implant is for your dentist or an oral surgeon to implant the artificial root into your jawbone. Although this procedure typically doesn’t take long to complete, it is considered oral surgery, and it takes a certain amount of time afterwards to allow the implant to fuse to the bone – usually several months. Once the implant is ready, your dentist will attach a connector to the top of the implant, and affix the artificial tooth (usually a porcelain crown) to the connector. Although the procedure takes several months, many patients find that the end result is definitely worth the wait since a dental implant is very much like getting a brand new natural tooth.
One of the many advantages of dental implants is their similarity to natural teeth. While some other dental appliances require special care and cleaning – such as partial dentures or removable dental bridges, for example – dental implants need no special treatment whatsoever. You simply brush and floss as you normally would. It’s important to remember, however, that the vast majority of dental restorations, including dental implants, cannot be whitened with teeth whitening products. Dental implants typically last for many, many years and can, in fact, last throughout a person’s lifetime, although they may need adjustment after a certain period of time.
If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be a good candidate for a dental implant. The only way to know for sure is to ask your dentist. While implants are often an excellent choice to replace missing teeth, they may not be for everyone. For example, you’ll need an adequate amount of jawbone present to accommodate the implant. Your dentist can perform a dental exam to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for a dental implant.
About Dental Implants
Implants are a long term treatment option to replace one or multiple teeth that may last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Central Dental’s implants are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Dental implants are titanium root forms, or anchors, that are similar in appearance to a screw. Once it is implanted into the ridge of the bone and healing (osseointegration) occurs, these anchors can be used to attach artificial teeth such as crowns, bridges, partials, and dentures. A temporary tooth is placed on top of the implant as the healing process takes place to ensure the space for the final restoration does not close and to allow you to chew properly. These temporary teeth look similar to real ones. From the replacement of a single missing tooth to extensive reconstruction, dental implants offer the healthiest and most natural-looking result.
Advantages of Dental Implants
- Improved Speech – Implants look and feel like natural teeth. Often times when patients are missing teeth or wear ill-fitting dentures or partials they have difficulty with speech that has a lisp or sounds mumbled or slurred.
- Increased Comfort – Implants help resolve temporomandibular joint pain or bite problems that result from teeth drifting into the areas where teeth are missing.
- Restore Chewing and Digestion – Ill-fitting dentures that slide around while eating do not allow for proper chewing of food which leads to digestive issues. Implant supported dentures allow you to chew your food well enough to facilitate proper digestion.
- Enhanced Appearance – Implants provide a more youthful appearance by preventing further bone loss. When you lose a tooth, you also lose bone as your other teeth shift in an attempt to fill the space. Bone loss, left unchecked, will result in a collapsed and sunken in face which in turn causes further wrinkles and sagging skin. Dental implants can make you look years, maybe even decades younger. This prevention of bone loss is an added benefit that dentures and partials alone cannot match.
- Rejuvenate Your Smile and Your Confidence – Quality implants offer beauty, form and function as well as reassurance. Implants give renewed confidence as you need not be concerned with missing teeth or shifting dentures while you eat or speak. With your dazzling new smile you’ll be eager to smile broadly for the camera, enjoy a dinner date, and chat with friends like you used to!
- Replace One or More Missing Teeth without Affecting Adjacent Teeth – Dental implants rely upon osseointegration, which is the fusing of bone to the artificial implant root, for support rather than adjacent teeth leaving no need to alter healthy teeth. Since implants are not supported by nearby teeth it does not cause them additional stress which in turn helps preserve them.
- Easier Maintenance – You brush and floss your implant as you do your natural teeth unlike a bridge that requires extra effort to floss the underside. If an issue develops with any of the teeth involved in a bridge the entire bridge will have to be replaced.
What To Expect
At Central Dental you’ll receive a comprehensive implant evaluation and detailed treatment plan. With advanced iCAT® cone beam CT imaging the doctors are able to obtain a full three dimensional (3D) view of the potential implant site allowing for accurate planning and placement. They will then present you with the benefits and risks so you may make an informed decision about your care. If the teeth on either side of the site of the missing tooth and the remaining bone are healthy, an implant will likely be recommended. If you have large fillings on adjacent teeth then a bridge may be best. Once you and your dentist decide that an implant is the best course of treatment the implant will be surgically placed in the jaw. After the implant has bonded to the bone and it is strong enough to proceed the final crown or bridge restoration will be attached with a connecting piece referred to as an abutment and, voila, you will then have a beautiful, natural looking tooth!
Contact Us Today
If you’re looking for an implant dentist in Little Rock, Conway or Central Arkansas, Central Dental can provide you with the youthful and confident smile you desire along with any general dentistry needs you or your loved ones may have in the future. The doctors and team members at Central Dental will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that will give you the renewing results you desire. Please contact us today to schedule your initial consultation for Implant Dentistry at Central Dental!
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