Whenever a tooth is lost, if bone structure allows, it should be replaced with a dental implant. Failure to replace the tooth with an implant will ultimately contribute to the loss of facial bone structure. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots, which represent an alternative to dentures or bridgework. The advantages in addition to retained bone structure include improved chewing ability, better speech, more secure fit of the restoration, greater comfort, and improved self-esteem.
The implant itself is made from Titanium and is surgically implanted in the jawbone to function in the same way as a natural tooth root. Once placed, it may be necessary for the implant to heal in the jawbone for a period of 3 to 6 months, which allows your bone to grow onto the implant in a process called osseo-integration.
Once integrated, the implant is then exposed from the gum tissue, and a restoration consisting of one or more replacement teeth, is fabricated by our prosthodontist to fit on top of the implants.
The restoration can be attached in several ways:
- Removable structure, using special bars and clips.
- Fixed or screw retained, using special screws and cement so that only your dentist can remove it, if necessary.
In the case of dentures, an implant-supported overdenture fits more securely than a conventional denture which rests on the gum tissue and offers no form of mechanical attachment. The difference is the implants participate integrally in retaining bone structure in the jaw line.
Where a single tooth is lost adjacent healthy teeth can often remain intact and unaffected by an implant-supported restoration. This is unlike conventional bridgework where healthy teeth are structurally altered to support the bridge.
Implants are usually placed under local anesthesia in our office. The procedure involved in placing the implants is generally not painful and usually requires minimal recovery time and post-operative medication.
With our complimentary consultation we can tell whether you’re a candidate for dental implants. Certain health conditions (like uncontrolled diabetes) or risk factors (like smoking) may preclude your ability to undergo implant therapy. In addition, appropriate hygiene must be established prior to implant therapy and must be maintained to ensure the long-term success of the implant. If we can be of assistance or answer any of your concerns or questions please feel free to contact our office.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
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