Dental implants are one of the best options for tooth replacement. Dental implants are individual dental prostheses which take the place of a single missing tooth. If you have lost a tooth or have multiple missing teeth, dental implants will offer the most natural-looking results to restore your smile. The dental implant is comprised of three parts — the implant, the abutment, and the crown — which fit together to provide a restorative solution that is incredibly similar to a natural, healthy tooth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Choosing to replace a missing tooth or numerous missing teeth with dental implants is your best option for the long-term restoration of your teeth. Dental implants provide the closest possible function and aesthetics of your natural teeth. Implants provide several benefits that cannot be achieved by choosing a removable or temporary prosthesis, including
- Maintaining the health of neighboring teeth. Some other prosthetic methods require your dentist to grind down healthy teeth to cement a fixed bridge or rely on surrounding healthy teeth to support the weight of a partial. Choosing dental implants resolves both of these problems by replacing the problem areas and allowing your remaining dental structure to remain natural.
- Preserving bone. The dental implant replaces the tooth root. It transmits chewing forces to the jaw, helping maintain the bone. Bridges, partial dentures, and areas without any tooth replacement will undergo a significant loss of bone structure.
- Feeling and functioning like natural, healthy teeth. Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option for restoring the overall look of a healthy tooth to improve your smile. Dental implants feel and function like natural, healthy teeth. Most patients comment on the incredible similarities between the prosthesis and their natural teeth. Some even say that it would be difficult to determine which teeth are prosthetic and which teeth are natural if they did not already know which teeth were replaced.
- Restoring normal day-to-day activities. Unlike removable prosthetic options, dental implants are integrated into your jaw bone. This direct implant and restoration makes it easier to speak, sing, eat, brush, clean your mouth, and of course, smile with confidence. Maintenance of your dental implants is no different than your healthy teeth so you can resume brushing and flossing regularly without making any special adjustments.
- Preserving your smile. In addition to all of the functional benefits, dental implants are very strong and remain in place. Unlike removable dentures or tooth-supported replacement options that may fall out or loosen over time, a dental implant will maintain your smile. You can smile knowing your implants look just like your natural, healthy teeth.
- Offering a long-term solution. With proper maintenance, a dental implant may last many years without needing to be replaced. Unfortunately, other prosthetic options, like dental bridges, typically have a significantly shorter lifespan.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
If you are missing one or multiple teeth and are in good health, you may be a candidate to receive dental implants. After a thorough oral exam with your oral surgeon, some patients may discover that they need an additional procedure, such as bone grafting, to ensure proper dental implant placement. Certain risk factors, like regular nicotine use, pre-existing medical conditions, a history of periodontal disease or bone loss, or if you are under 18 years of age, may prevent dental implant placement. If you are interested in learning more about the procedure and finding out if you are a candidate for dental implant placement, we encourage you to contact one of our offices in Midland or Odessa, Texas, to schedule an initial consultation.
What happens during the procedure?
Prior to planning any surgical procedure, you will need to undergo an initial consultation. Your oral surgeon will perform a comprehensive oral examination, review your complete medical and dental history, and obtain an x-ray to determine if you are a candidate for an implant. There may be a need for additional X-rays or a three-dimensional CT scan in order to properly assess your unique situation. This can be completed in our office during your consultation.
In most cases, there are two procedures that are performed in order to properly place a dental implant. During the first procedure, the dental implant, which is a medical-grade titanium screw, is placed into the jaw bone. After this first procedure is complete, patients will undergo a period of healing while the implant naturally integrates with the bone. This bonding creates a solid anchor to support the abutment and crown. Once the implant has fully integrated with the jaw, the abutment (a small metal post) is placed into the center of the implant and the custom-designed crown is secured on top.
At Permian Basin Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, our entire surgical staff has received extensive training in order to gain the knowledge and expertise necessary to successfully perform dental implant procedures. If you are interested in learning whether dental implants are the best solution to restore your broken, missing, or decaying teeth, contact one of our two office locations in Odessa or Midland, Texas, to schedule your initial consultation.