What are options for a missing tooth?
In the past, when someone has a missing tooth or has had to have a tooth extracted (pulled) your options were to do nothing and have a hole or to have a bridge placed. A bridge uses the two teeth on both sides of the gap to be a base for a bridge that has a crown attaced making the area look like there is a tooth there. This would mean that you would lose the natural strength of these two teeth and you would not be able to floss in between your teeth. Then along came implants.
What is a dental implant?
One of the greatest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years is the dental implant. Dental implants can replace a missing tooth, teeth, or all of your teeth. They can stabilize dentures or long spanned bridges. Placing a single implant instead of a bridge to natural teeth is simple and beneficial. It helps maintain the bone and prevents cutting down good teeth. If a tooth needs to be extracted we can often place an implant immediately, thus preventing a second surgery. Implants also help keep the bone you have that is gradually lost when a tooth is lost.
Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
If you are healthy and have enough bone, you can get a dental implant. When you come into our office, we will do a health history and take a 3-D Scan. This scan will tell us the amount of bone and even give us an idea of the quality of the bone. It also helps us plan the ideal placement of your implant so it feels natural and functions great.
If you are a smoker, or have uncontrolled diabetes, we will work with you and your physician to get these under control as they can compromise the implant. Of course everyone getting a dental implant will need to have good nutrition and oral hygiene for the best outcome and long term success. We will help you maintain the implants with regular cleanings and check ups.