Dental implants are a relatively new tooth replacement method when compared to prosthetics like bridges and dentures. Despite being somewhat new, they are considered the preferred method for replacing lost or diseased teeth.
Dental implants are durable and low maintenance. Once stable, they provide a full restoration of oral function so that patients can eat comfortably and speak confidently. Southern Hills Dental is a full service practice that offers dental implant placement along with the fabrication of the restorations attached to implants.
How Dental Implants Work
Dental implants are replacements for the roots of teeth. They consist of a titanium component that slightly resembles a screw. It is placed into the jawbone, where over time, the bone surrounding the implantation site will fuse to the dental implant. This is possible through a natural process called osseointegration, where bone fuses to metal as if it were natural, mineralized tissue. Once stable, custom restorations are attached to dental implants to replace the visible surfaces of teeth.
Placing Dental Implants
Placing a dental implant involves understanding a person’s oral anatomy so that the implant is placed into the location best suited for its stabilization. The placement of an implant is very important because the dental implant will ultimately rely on bone for its support.
To ensure that implants are placed as precisely as possible, our team utilizes the “guided implant” technique. This involves taking and using CT images to create an anatomically correct, three-dimensional image of the oral cavity. In addition to diagnostic images, we take advantage of advanced software that allows us to plan the procedure in advance, determine the appropriate location for implant placement and reduce actual treatment time.
Implant restorations are just as important as a dental implant. The restoration is what is attached to the implant so that patients can chew food comfortably. A restoration attached to a dental implant is what comprises the visible part of tooth replacement. It will fill in the gaps of a smile and support neighboring teeth in addition to providing the biting surface for eating food. Implant restorations need to be carefully crafted so that they fit between teeth and complement the proportions of one’s mouth. Restorations can be made from various materials including porcelain and metal.
You shouldn’t have to suffer with missing teeth. Southern Hills Dental takes a compassionate approach to tooth loss so that members of our community can smile, speak and eat with confidence. Call us today to reserve a dental implant consultation.
Dental Implant FAQs
A dental implant is a prosthetic used to replace the roots of teeth. It is constructed from titanium, a durable and biocompatible metal. A dental implant looks a little bit like a screw in that it has a ridged texture and gradually becomes wider on one end.
An implant is embedded into the jawbone to begin the process of replacing a tooth’s root system. Eventually, it will become stabilized because the bone surrounding it will fuse to the dental implant’s structure. At this point, a custom restoration will be attached to the implant to complete the tooth replacement process. Once an implant is stable and has its restoration, patients can resume eating normally. With proper care and a commitment to maintaining oral health, many patients can enjoy dental implants for decades.
The cost of a dental implant can vary depending on each person’s unique situation. For instance, some folks may require a tooth extraction beforehand, or those with sparse bone may need a grafting procedure to thicken and widen the jawbone.
Beyond preliminary treatments, other factors that might affect cost include the materials used for the restorations that are attached to dental implants. Some patients may choose more expensive materials because they lend a very natural appearance to one’s replacement tooth while others might opt for less expensive restorations for their price and durability. When it comes to costs for any procedure, it is best to speak with a member of our staff after your consultation so that we can give you a more accurate estimate.
Determining whether one is a candidate for dental implants involves a physical examination that evaluates a patient’s entire oral health – including the density and thickness of jawbone. Bone density in the jaw is an important factor for the stabilization of an implant because bone fuses to the implant to hold it in place. Candidates for dental implants should be healthy enough to heal from oral surgery, have healthy gums that are free of periodontal disease, and be willing to see their dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
A dental implant is embedded into the jawbone through a surgical procedure. Most of the time, only local anesthetic and a mild sedative are needed to ensure a person’s comfort.