What are Dental Implants?
A strong, secure replacement for missing teeth
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed in the jaw to hold a replacement tooth, bridge, or even full dentures in place. The implant is most commonly made of titanium but can also be made of zirconium.
Once an implant is placed, your own bone and gum tissue will grow around it to hold it securely, the same as with a natural tooth. A crown is then attached to the implant so you can smile and chew for a lifetime.
What are Dental Implants Used For?
- Single Tooth Replacement
- Multiple Tooth Replacement
- Securing a Bridge
- Securing Full or Partial Dentures
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
Dental implants are a good choice for almost anyone missing a tooth or teeth. And today that is 69% of Americans age 35-44. Whether tooth loss was caused by trauma, periodontal disease or another factor, dental implants are a likely solution.
Dr. Aldredge will perform a complete periodontal examination to confirm whether dental implants are the right treatment for you .
Who Should Place My Dental Implants?
Always choose the most experienced, accomplished doctor to perform your implant procedure.
Periodontists specialize in the treatment of the gum tissue and underlying bone in the mouth, which is precisely where the dental implant is placed. A board-certified dental implant surgeon, Dr. Aldredge has placed thousands of successful dental implants.
What is the Dental Implant Procedure?
Dental implants may be completed in two or three steps, depending on the case:
1. The implant is placed in the jaw with a temporary replacement for the tooth. For the next few months, the implant and bone will bond together to create a stable base.
2. In some cases* once the site has healed the dental implant surgeon will uncover the implant and attach an extension to complete the foundation for your new tooth. In other cases this step is unnecessary.
3. In all cases, a crown, bridge or denture is permanently attached to the implant, creating a smile so natural you may forget the implant is there.
*The number of steps depends on the individual case. Generally a patient returns after the bone has grown around the implant, an attachment called an abutment is added, and the tooth, bridge or denture is attached.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants are designed to be permanent once they have fused with the surrounding bone. On rare occasions a dental implant will fail, most commonly because poor oral care has resulted in damage to the surrounding gums and bone. Dr. Aldredge can treat failing dental implants with a laser treatment called LAPIP. To keep your dental implants or a lifetime, be sure to brush and floss, see a dentist every 6 months, and most of all don't smoke.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Dental implants have been safely placed for more than 30 years. Titanium and zirconium are both biocompatible, integrate readily with bone, and won't be rejected by the body.
How Long Will I Be Without Teeth?
You will never be without teeth. You have the choice of several temporary options while your implant is healing.
Can Dental Implants Keep Me Looking Younger?
Besides giving you back your ability to bite, chew, and even talk without thinking twice, dental implants may actually save your jaw and facial structure from developing a prematurely aged look. When a tooth isn't replaced, the surrounding bone is no longer stimulated by chewing and stops regenerating. Eventually it breaks down and disappears. Gum tissue will shrink as well. These changes in formation impact your entire jaw structure, making it look smaller and contributing to wrinkled skin. What's more, deterioration of bone around missing front teeth means no support for facial tissue, which drops to create an aging, sunken look.
How Can I Find Out More?
Contact us! We'll be happy to answer any other questions you may have about dental implants.