Dental implants are considered to be the standard of care for the replacement of missing teeth. Advances in technology and continuous research have made more and more patients candidates for dental implants.
A dental implant consists of two basic components, the portion that is integrated into the bone that simulates the tooth root and the portion that is attached above your gum that simulates your tooth. Many patients are surprised that restoring a missing tooth with a dental implant is so easy.
Placing the titanium implant into the bone requires a simple surgical procedure often done with just local anesthetic. Post-operative pain is usually minimal and lasts only a couple of days. Once the implant has firmly integrated into the bone, the portion that simulates your missing tooth is custom made and placed by the dentist. This usually requires only two short visits, requires no anesthesia, and is pain free. Once an implant is completed it looks and acts just like your natural tooth, and with proper care it can last a lifetime.
When a tooth has been damaged beyond repair it must be extracted. This damage can be caused by decay, infection, or breakage of the tooth. The tooth and surrounding tissues will be numbed to prevent any pain during the procedure. Depending on the circumstances, an antibiotic or pain reliever may be prescribed. There are a number of ways to replace a tooth that has been extracted, including implants, a bridge, and partial or complete dentures.
When one or two missing teeth have a tooth present on both sides of the space, a bridge is an option to replace the missing teeth. Fabricating a bridge requires shaping the teeth on both sides of the missing space in order to fit crowns over the teeth. These crowns are joined together with crowns that simulate the missing teeth in order to “bridge” the space. The bridge is cemented in place and must be cared for properly in order to ensure a lasting result.