Dental Implants Replace Missing Teeth

Replacing missing teeth with dental implants is becoming the standard of care says Marietta dentist, Kirk Kimmerling.  More and more people are candidates for dental implants because of the use of a bone grafting procedure.  The added bone helps secure the implant for success by making the bone wider and deeper.

What is a dental implant asks many patients?

It is a small device placed in the jaw to support a tooth or group of teeth.  The device is usually titanium, a material that osseointegrates with the jaw.  After integration, the implant is secure enough to attach a crown (the tooth) on top.  Some implants can have a tooth attached right away (immediate placement), but you must be a candidate. A dentist will decide.

Dental implants can support one or multiple missing teeth.  Edentulous (patients without teeth) can also use implants.  Many times the dentist place them to help stabilize a denture by permitting it to snap in place for more secure speaking and chewing.

What happens at placement asks patients?

After the patient is numbed by the dentist, a hole is bore in the bone.  It is important for the dentist to avoid vital structures such as the inferior alveolar nerve or the mental foramen.   In some cases, a CT scan will be taken to help pinpoint the vital structures to avoid complications.  The dentist will keep a cool water spray as he is working to protect the bone cells from overheating.

The doctor will decide what size of implant is proper to replace the missing tooth.

If a patient lacks adequate bone depth and thickness, a dentist may use the patient’s own bone (autograph), cadaver bone (allograft), bovine bone (xenograft) or artificial bone (hydroxyapatite).

Missing teeth involving the maxillary (upper) arch, a sinus lift may be necessary.    The sinus will be lifted out-of-the-way to make more room for the implant.  This helps avoid placement of the implant into the sinus cavity.

After placement, a dentist will generally confirm success with a radiograph confirming proper placement.

After a healing and integration period, a  simple, second surgery will be necessary.   The implant will be uncovered so an impression can be taken.  The impression will allow for a lab to make the proper prosthesis (tooth or teeth).  The crowns will be fabricated and placed in the mouth.

Although dental implants require a skilled doctor, the long-term success of the procedure requires excellent home care from the patient.

Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis give patients a higher risk of failure.  However, since most dental implants are successful, they are an excellent option for missing teeth.

Although nothing can replace the feel of natural teeth, dental implants are an excellent option for those considering replacement.  It’s a solution that creates the smile people once had and want back.  Implants are the option of choice for those missing teeth.  So, when a patient makes the commitment and a doctor says they are a candidate, the choice is easy.  Dental implants create beautiful smiles says dentist in Marietta.

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