Tooth loss is a common condition that can occur as a result of disease, trauma or poor dental hygiene. It is important to replace missing teeth in order to help prevent gum and tooth damage, as well as to restore comfort and confidence in social situations. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root used to support tooth replacement structures such as crowns, bridges and dentures. Dental implants help patients regain the ability to eat, speak and smile without the pain and embarrassment of missing teeth.
Dental implants offer many benefits over other tooth replacement methods, as they provide a natural replacement that looks and feels like your own tooth. Since the implants are drilled directly into the gum and act as a natural tooth root would, patients can enjoy the same comfort and confidence they experienced before tooth loss.
Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
Dr. Zimbardi and Dr. David work in concert with periodontists and oral surgeons in the treatment planning for implant fixture placement and implant crown and bridge placement. Working as a team with other implant specialists provides you with the most comprehensive care possible.
It is important for patients to seek prompt treatment for missing or severely damaged teeth in order to reduce the risk of bone or gum damage. During your appointment, your mouth is thoroughly examined to determine the best treatment approach for your individual case. The number-one requirement for dental implants is sufficient, strong bone in the area beneath the missing teeth. Without enough bone, the implants will not be able to take hold in the jaw.
The dental implants themselves are titanium cylinders that are surgically implanted into the jawbone where the missing teeth were rooted. Over time, the titanium bonds with the bone, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.
Dental implants are placed during a series of appointments over the course of several months. During the first appointment, the titanium anchors are placed in the jaw. Over the next three to six months, the anchors heal and fuse to the bone, a period known as osseointegration. Small posts are attached to the implant to help provide stability for the replacement tooth. After the anchors heal, the patient is fitted for replacements, which can be installed during the next appointment.
Once the dental implant has been placed, patients have many options regarding the type of restoration they prefer to replace their missing or damaged tooth. The best restoration for you depends on how many teeth you are missing and your personal preferences.
Crowns are often used to replace individual teeth, while bridges can replace several teeth without disturbing healthy nearby teeth. A full bridge or full dentures can replace an entire set of teeth. These restorations can be treated just like natural teeth and require regular home care and dental visits. Unlike traditional bridges, implants do not sacrifice the strength of neighboring teeth, and help preserve your overall tooth health with added strength and reliability.
Most patients are able to achieve successful results from dental implants with little to no risk of complications. However, implants are not recommended for children because their jaw bones are not fully developed and can affect the appearance and function of the implant.