One or more teeth missing due to trauma, decay, or disease can be difficult to overcome. But with the advice and guidance of your dental professional, you will be able to make the best decision about replacing missing teeth.
Consideration will be given to the patient’s overall health. Generally if the patient is healthy enough for teeth extraction, they will be able to undergo the implant procedure.
Dental health is reviewed to ascertain whether there are contributing factors that might result in a successful implant process. Patients dealing with gum disease are carefully reviewed. Dental x-rays are taken to determine bone strength at the proposed implant site. Although lack of jaw bone does not immediately eliminate the patient, preliminary steps may be required to build up bone.
Other considerations include the patient’s willingness to give up tobacco use. Smokers are not ideal implant candidates.
The individual must be willing to dedicate the necessary amount of time from start to finish before treatment is concluded. This level of commitment includes keeping the implant area as clean as possible by following the recommendations made by the dentist to prevent infection (the leading cause of implant failure). All follow-up appointments must be kept and any diet restrictions followed.
Once the patient has been deemed a suitable candidate for dental implants, the process can get underway.
Once it has been determined sufficient bone is in place, a small titanium implant is surgically embedded in gum tissue where tooth loss has occurred.
During the ensuing 3 to 4 months of healing, the bone is fusing to the implant which will ultimately provide the strength and support needed to secure the final restoration.
Once healed, the crown (or prosthesis depending on the number of teeth being replaced) is affixed giving the patient the ability to eat, speak, and smile with the confidence enjoyed before tooth loss occurred.
To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, or to learn more about your tooth replacement options, contact the office of Dr. John B. Morris today.