What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the closest dental restoration to your original teeth.
Your teeth are an integral component of your mouth, allowing you to perform numerous important functions. One of the main functions of your teeth is biting and chewing. They are also important for proper speech, the health of your jawbone, and for a beautiful, confident smile. When you suffer tooth loss, all of the functions of your teeth and more are affected. At Anchorage Dental Associates, we can replace your missing teeth, restoring the functions of your teeth, your smile, and your quality of life with implants.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a treatment designed to replace missing teeth. This treatment is unlike any other tooth replacement option. Dental implants are a titanium post that we can surgically secure to your jaw bone to serve as a firm base to permanently attach a partial or full denture to. This is a surgical reconstruction of the tooth root, creating a middle connection between the bone and tooth. The end result has both obvious and less obvious, though very important, benefits. The obvious results include a denture that stays in place, and allows you to have a very similar feel in chewing and function as your own natural teeth once did. The less obvious result is maintaining the health of your bone. Patients who have lost teeth suffer an immediate and degrading bone atrophy of their jaw bone, resulting in their facial shape changing to a smaller, and older appearance.
The surgical placement of dental implants is a minimally invasive procedure that is approved for many patients, even those who are medically delicate. Surgery does require a patient to be able to heal in a timely matter, and there are conditions that can prevent that such as diabetes or patients who smoke. These conditions and more does not eliminate you as a candidate but may require adjustments, or working with your physician to change medications or make other alterations. We are happy to work with our patients to help them reach this goal.
Versatility for Numerous Needs
Dental implants are an incredibly versatile treatment. They can be used for replacing a single tooth, or they can be used if you are missing several teeth. Types of dental implants include
What if I Lack Enough Bone Mass?
For implants to be successful, you need to have sufficient bone mass in your jaw. However, after you lose teeth, your jawbone begins to lose mass and grow weak. If the bone is too weak, it cannot support the posts or provide your restorations with the necessary stability they need. In many cases, a bone graft may be required.
How are Dental Implants Placed?
Dental implants require a surgical procedure to be placed. After administering a local anesthetic, and sedation if necessary, we make small incisions in your gums to expose the bone underneath. We then drill small holes into the jawbone and place the posts directly inside. Finally, the gums are sutured closed, and temporary teeth are set into place.
As you recover, a process that can take several weeks to several months, we closely monitor your progress, ensuring that your bone is fusing properly and that there are no complications. Once you have fully healed, we then create your final restorations and set them in place. After removing your temporary teeth, we take an impression of your mouth. The impression is used to custom design your new teeth and bring them to life. When they are finished, they are checked for fit and bite and screwed into place.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants provide many amazing benefits, including
The Drawbacks to Implants
While there are many benefits to dental implants, there are a few factors that need to be considered as well.
If you are interested in learning more about implants for replacing your missing teeth, call Anchorage Dental Associates at (907) 885-3666 to schedule your consultation today.
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