A dental implant is an artificial root (typically titanium) that is surgically placed into the jaw by a dentist or specialist to replace a missing or extracted tooth.  A dental implant is a great way to replace a tooth and provides a fixed solution to having a removable option such as a partial or denture.  A dental implant is an excellent restorative option that can provide support and stability and can function as a natural tooth.  A tooth that is attached to a dental implant is called an implant crown.  This tooth can be very natural looking and can sometimes restore a patient’s smile!

Why would I need a dental implant?
-To replace a tooth that is missing
-To restore the chewing and functionality of your teeth
-To resolve joint pain or occlusion problems due to a shift in teeth from a missing tooth
-To support a partial, denture or bridge
What can I expect during a dental implant restoration?

Getting an implant can require a number of visits over a period of several months.  A patient will typically visit a specialist who will take x-rays and impressions (molds) of your jaw and teeth to determine if you are a candidate for an implant dependent upon the bone, gum tissue and spacing available.  If considered a qualified candidate for an implant, the patient will be numbed in the determined area for the implant to be placed.  The implant will be surgically placed into the jaw and allowed to integrate itself into the bone for approximately 4 to 6 months.

After several weeks of healing,  the specialist will release the patient for the final restorative procedure.  The patient will return to the dental office and have impressions (molds) of the tooth created so the dental laboratory can fabricate a crown to be placed over the implant restoration.  Once the crown is received, the crown is secured onto the implant by cementation after careful adjustment and aesthetic approval by the patient.

Although very durable and likely to last many years, all restorative procedures, including a dental implant restoration may become loose and need to be tightened after a while.  It  is important to maintain healthy oral hygiene routines, eat healthy and schedule regular dental visits to ensure the longevity of your dental implant restoration.