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Dental Implants

Dental Implants Are Today’s Missing Tooth Solution

Dental implants hit the air waves roughly two decades ago when the only previous solutions for missing teeth were dental bridges and removable dentures, both of which have potential side effects.

Dental implants are a vast improvement when compared to dental bridges and dentures that may produce side effects of dentures falling out of your mouth, gum irritations or chattering sounds when you talk, or not allowing for enjoyment while eating or speaking. If you’ve got a dental bridge, dentures or a missing tooth, you may be ready for change.

You might have had your teeth ground down for a dental bridge, or have an existing bulky metal removable partial denture; or maybe you have a temporary, old, plastic partial that is stained and unpleasant smelling. These are even more reasons why people today prefer dental implants.

The Dental Implant Revolution

Dental implants were a forward thinking vision twenty years ago. Today, dental implants are a tried and true alternative to dentures and dental bridges.  So, if you are one of the 69% of adults aged 35 to 44 that have lost one tooth, you’ll want to read on about dental implants. You may be one of the 26% elders that have lost all of their teeth who are now interested in dental implants.

If not, one day you may be faced with a decision about a missing tooth. After all, it is easy for a tooth to be lost. A missing tooth may be the consequence of traumatic injury to the face or mouth. You may lose a tooth because of gum disease, genetic defects or excessive wear and tear on the teeth. Tooth decay and irreparable root canals are reasons for tooth loss as well.

The Promise of Dental Implants

Dental implants offer superior aesthetic appeal and functionality. Dental implants allow people to smile with confidence. The technology also allows people to eat with the proper bite in order to prevent malnutrition.  Dental implants replace the missing tooth (or teeth) without hurting any other teeth.  Dental implants provide stability and have long lasting staying power.  Dental implants may be the only procedure required for a missing tooth. Alternatively, dental implants may serve as an adjunct to treatment for an existing bridge or denture. Dental implants are now main stream in today’s society.

How Dental Implants Work

Most adults are candidates for the dental implant procedure. However, some people may not qualify for the procedure.

  • People that have significant bone loss in the treatment area may not respond well to dental implants. In this case, bone grafting may be performed so you can qualify for dental implant treatment.
  • Smokers will be advised to stop smoking before having dental implants placed because there is a high implant failure rate associated with smoking and dental implants.
  • People taking immunosuppressant drugs may not respond well to dental implants.
  • People with certain medical conditions, such as, diabetes and periodontal disease may require treatment prior to receiving dental implants.  If there are any localized gum or bone infections, or infections associate with dying teeth, these all need to be cleared up first before an implant can be placed.

A dentist can help evaluate your candidacy for a dental implant or may refer you to a dentist that focuses on dental implants.

Selecting Your Dentist for Dental Implants

Cosmetic dentists, prosthodontists, periodontists and oral surgeons are the types of dentists that may perform the dental implant procedure. It’s important to note that not all dentists are trained in dental implants. In fact, the extent of training varies among dentists. You may wish to ask the dentist performing your procedure where they had their training and about the type of training they had. More extensive training for dental implants and dental surgery is offered by American Academy of Periodontology and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. In your inquiry, you may also ask about your dentist’s level of participation in dental organizations such as the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.(AAID) The AAID provides continuing education courses for dentists and has a rigorous accreditation process.

About The Dental Implant Procedure

During the dental implant procedure, a titanium screw is surgically placed into the jaw bone where a tooth root would go. The procedure is completed in one session. Then tooth is covered with a healing cap for approximately 2 months until a temporary crown can be placed. Next, approx. 4 months later, the natural bone heals around the dental implant and a permanent crown is placed.

The Importance of Proper Healing and Osseointegration

It can require up to six months for the natural bone to heal around the dental implant.  This critical healing process is known as osseointegration, Osseointegration anchors the implant root to the jaw bone. Once osseointegration occurs, the implant procedure is considered successful. This is the time that the implant is ready for the placement of a permanent crown over on its top.  The process of osseointegration is also used in certain cranial and maxillofacial reconstruction procedures, such as, ear prosthesis or eye prosthesis.

Indeed, the dental implant procedure is innovative. And while the procedure may have been mind boggling years ago, the potential uses for dental implants have been fully realized today. Next time you are at your dentist’s office, ask about dental implants.



It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.