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If you’re missing one, several, or all of your teeth, you should definitely consider dental implant surgery. Dental implants are basically titanium posts that are screwed into the jawbone underneath the empty socket of your missing teeth. The implant serves the same function as a tooth’s root — it supports the jawbone tissues, preventing their absorption into the body, and provides a firm, solid base for the crown of the tooth. Dental implant surgery essentially allows you to restore the form, functionality, and appearance of a natural tooth, making it the best tooth replacement option available.
Is the dental implant an option for tooth replacement?
The dentist must shave off the enamel from the surrounding, healthy teeth to accommodate the crowns, and the pontics take up the space left by the missing teeth. As such, dental bridges don’t support the underlying jawbone, and they necessitate the modification of your healthy teeth.
The tooth implant procedure fixes the problems associated with both dental bridges and dentures. Unlike dental bridges, the dental implant specialist doesn’t have to modify the surrounding, healthy teeth to accommodate implants. As such, dental implants look and feel completely natural.
What is a dental implant procedure?
The dental implant procedure is a simple, two-step process. During the implant surgery, the dental implant specialist removes the original tooth or teeth, This might be necessary if you have severely damaged teeth or are only left with one or two teeth and want a full-mouth restoration. The dental implant specialist will select the appropriate technique.
Before dental implant surgery, the dental implant specialist will also determine if you need bone grafting. Some patients don’t have enough jawbone tissues to support implants — this may happen if you wait several months or years after the loss of your teeth to get dental implants. When you lose your teeth, the underlying jawbone tissues start getting reabsorbed into the body. Over time, you are left with insufficient jawbone tissues to support an implant, making dental implant surgery impossible. When that happens, the dental implant specialist may provide bone grafting augmentation before dental implant surgery.
During the bone augmentation procedure, the dental implant specialist places specialized bone grafting materials into the site with insufficient jawbone. The bone grafting material can come in numerous forms, such as from another part of the individual’s body, another person, donor banks, animal parts, or synthetic materials. Over time, the bone grafting materials will facilitate jawbone regeneration, helping you achieve healthy jawbone tissues again, making you a viable candidate for dental implants.
During the dental implant procedure, the dental implant specialist will administer local anesthesia to ensure complete comfort. After surgically screwing the implant in place, the dental implant specialist will allow it to heal for 3 to 6 months. During this period, a process called osseointegration occurs — the jawbone tissues fuse with the implant’s surface, making the titanium implant a firmly rooted part of your dental anatomy. After osseointegration, the dental implant specialist places an abutment on the implant, supporting the dental crown, bridge, or denture.
How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take?
If you have completely healthy jawbone tissues, the dental implant specialist can also complete the entire procedure in one session. The dentist can remove the unhealthy teeth and place the implants, following which temporary restorations are provided. However, the conventional dental implant procedure takes around 6 months.
What are my dental implant restoration options?
You have three primary dental implant restoration options:
- Dental Crowns: If you’re getting a few individual implants for different locations of your mouth, you can get individual dental crowns.
- Dental Bridges: If you’re replacing a series of missing teeth using implants, your best option is a dental bridge restoration. One dental bridge can replace up to 4 missing teeth at once.
- Dentures: If you’re replacing all of the missing teeth in the upper or lower arch, you can get dentures. The dental implant specialist will place four or six implants in strategic locations to support the complete denture, completing full mouth restoration with minimal implants.
How many teeth can replace dental implants?
Dental implants can replace one, several, or even all of your teeth. In the past, dental implants could only replace a few teeth because of the lack of restoration options. Dental implants are now the perfect teeth replacement options for edentulous patients, i.e., patients without any teeth.
Schedule an appointment with a dental implant dentist in Houston
URBN Dental is the leading dental implant center in Uptown Houston, led by one of the country’s leading dental implant dentists — Dr. Jiman Nelson. You may schedule an appointment online or call 832-743-2989.