Why replace missing teeth?
If you’re like most people, you might only consider the aesthetic aspects of gaps in your smile. However, missing teeth are also a serious dental health matter.
Each of your natural teeth is anchored directly into the underlying jaw bone. Every time you bite down or chew food, you stimulate that bone tissue, keeping it healthy and strong. Losing a tooth means also losing that stimulation. Over time the bone tissue can begin to wear away, weakening the connection between adjacent teeth and bone.
Missing teeth also change the dynamics of your bite, which can place undue pressure on remaining natural teeth. This increases the risk of additional tooth loss.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement option and an exciting innovation in dentistry. Because implants are anchored within your bone, they maintain healthy bone tissue and last a lifetime.
Most implants consist of an implanted metal post that replaces your natural tooth root. The visible portion of a dental implant is an artificial crown. Some systems use a small piece called an abutment to connect the post and crown.
If you’re missing all of your upper or lower teeth, there are also options that secure an entire arch of artificial crowns using just four implanted posts on the upper or lower jaw. All-on-4® is an example of this technology.
What steps are involved in getting dental implants?
The planning process is a critical step in successful implant dentistry. Dr. Ballas begins by gathering digital imaging to learn more about your tooth and bone tissue.
Advanced software takes that data and creates a customized treatment plan. This assists the team in precisely placing the post within your bone tissue.
You’ll receive numbing medication to eliminate sensation in the treatment area. Dr. Ballas creates an incision in your gum tissue to access the underlying bone, then drills a small pilot hole to guide the post positioning. Next, she inserts the post within your bone tissue, your gum tissue is closed around the post, and a period of healing begins.
Once your bone tissue has fused to the implanted post, you’ll return to have the crown portion of the implant attached. This completes the dental implant process.
If you’re curious about how dental implants might work for you, call or click online today to set up a personalized consultation with Dr. Ballas, Dr. Langford, and the Holly Street Dental team.