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What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is an excellent treatment for replacing missing teeth. A root form implant is the most common kind of dental implant. It’s a small, titanium post that replaces the roots of a missing tooth. A custom fitted artifical tooth, called a restoration, is secured to the implant, which holds the restoration firmly in place.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

An implant has several benefits. Like the roots of natural teeth, it simulates the jawbone when you chew. This preserves the jawbone and keeps it healthy. An implant is strong, comfortable, and secure. When the restoration is in place, the implant looks and feels much like natural teeth. With careful homecare and regular checkups here in our office, an implant can be an excellent long-term solution for missing teeth.

How is an Implant Used?

An implant can supprot a variety of restorations, such as a single crown, multi-unit bridges, and full arch dentures. Some restorations, like a single crown and most bridges, are not removable. Others, like full-arch dentures, can be removed for sleeping and cleaning.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Depending on the situation, placing an implant can involve several phases, and treatment times can vary. First, Dr. Leo will determine if an implant is right for you. The Jones Bridge Dental Care staff will discuss your health history and treatment goals and perform a comprehensive examination to check the health of your gums and jawbone. Dr. Leo will then decide if you need any additional procedures to make your implant a success, such as bone grafting or gum surgery.

Problems Caused by a Missing Tooth

When a tooth is missing, a dental implant can be a great choice for replacing it. A missing tooth can cause a chain reaction of problems, including loss of bone in the jaw, shifting teeth, difficulty keeping teeth free of plaque and bacteria, grinding and clenching, and pain in the jaw joints.
Teeth transmit chewing forces thorugh their roots to the jawbone. This provides the stimulation bone needs to stay healthy, so when a tooth is missing, the jawbone around the area begins to shrink, along with the surrounding gums. A missing tooth also changes the biting forces on teeth around the space. Neighboring teeth begin to shift, and the opposing tooth begins to extrude out of its socket.
These changes create places around the teeth that are hard to keep clean, so plaque and bacteria can quickly accumulate. This accumulation can cause tooth decay and periodontial disease.

What to expect

To begin the procedure, Dr. Leo shapes a channel into the jawbone, and places the implant in the prepared space. At this point, it may be possible to place a temporary restoration. Over the course of the next few months, the implant will become securely fused to the bone. Dr. Leo’s final step is to attach your beautiful and permanent restoration to the implant.