The ramifications you can suffer due to tooth loss are numerous … remaining teeth can shift creating a malocclusion; difficulty with chewing can mean limited foods to enjoy; embarrassment due to tooth loss can affect your self-confidence; and over time, bone loss can result in physical changes as well as impact neighboring teeth. Implant dentistry can eliminate all of these problems allowing you to move on as if your biological tooth was never lost.
The Dental Implant Process
You will meet with your implant dentist for a consultation. During this appointment a discussion regarding overall health will be followed by an extensive oral examination. There must be sufficient bone for a dental implant to be successful; if bone augmentation is needed, this will be the first step.
Otherwise, the dental implant (a small titanium post) is surgically placed in the gum tissue where tooth loss occurred. During the healing period, jawbone will fuse to the implant incorporating it to provide the strength needed to support the cosmetic restoration that will eventually cover it. The process of bone fusing to the implant is referred to as osseointegration.
During the healing period, you will have received post operative instructions regarding keeping the area clean to prevent infection, a leading cause of implant failure. Periodic follow-up appointments will be scheduled.
Placing the Cosmetic Restoration
Once healing is completed, an abutment will be attached to the implant. The restoration will have been made to match surrounding teeth in size, shape, and shade so your implanted tooth will blend in naturally. It will be tried in for fit, and cemented in place when ready.
You will leave your implant dentist’s office with the assurance that your new tooth will allow you to do all the things you enjoyed before tooth loss occurred. You can eat all your favorite foods, smile with renewed self-confidence, and never worry about movement or slippage with your “replacement tooth”.
Caring for a Dental Implant
A dental implant requires no special care. You will continue to brush and floss as part of your daily oral hygiene regimen; and visit the dentist every six months (or as recommended) for cleaning and dental exam. A dental implant is designed to last for your lifetime, so with normal care you can expect to reap the benefits of your dental implant for many years to come.
To learn more about your tooth replacement options, contact the office of Dr. Andrew Holloman today.