Implants: As stated by the American Dental Association, nothing can take the place of a healthy set of natural teeth. However, when disease or an accident ends in tooth loss, it’s comforting to know there are options for restoring your smile.
Implants are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth. They are made of titanium, a strong, lightweight metal. Dental implants can be used for single tooth replacement or as an option to secure dentures.
The first step for treatment is to remove the existing tooth (if necessary) and place the titanium implant in the bone. This implant will remain covered under the gum for approximately 6 months. During this time the implant will fuse to the bone. If the placement site is a front tooth, your dentist will likely provide you with a flipper (a temporary partial denture) so that you are not “missing” a tooth during the healing process.
In the second step of treatment, the implant is uncovered and a post is attached to the implant; completing the foundation for the new tooth.
In the final step of treatment, your new tooth is attached to the foundation, and your dental implant is complete. New techniques allow your dentist to ensure that the size, shape, color, and fit of you new tooth matches your natural teeth.
Implants are not an option for everyone. If you are considering an implant as a tooth replacement option, you should consult your dentist and be medically evaluated before implant surgery is scheduled.
My Personal Experience:
My name is Jennifer, and I am a Licensed Dental Assistant who experienced a childhood injury that left my smile looking unnatural. A dental implant was recommended to treat my front tooth, and even as a dental professional the thought of going through this process was extremely difficult. My anxiety stemmed mostly from knowing that I needed to have a front tooth removed.
Now that I have completed my treatment, I would like to share what a positive experience I had. I am hoping to help alleviate potential fears for other implant patients.
From my first consultation to the completion of my dental implant, my dental team worked side by side with the oral surgeon to ensure a smooth transition from one step to the next. They kept me involved and educated throughout the entire process. The procedures were comfortable, the temporary appliance look natural, and the end result was perfect. My tooth looks and feels like a natural tooth!