Missing teeth can be embarrassing, resulting in a hesitation to smile and damaged self-esteem. Replacing missing teeth restores your smile and self-confidence, but also minimizes the negative effects that tooth loss can have on the gums, jawbone, and remaining teeth. The extra space can cause shifting of the teeth and bite, difficulty speaking or eating properly, and an increased risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease. Dental implants are a high-tech, permanent solution for replacing missing teeth.
If you are in need of a dental implant, Dr. Schwartz will work with you to to plan the placement and refer to a trusted local oral surgeon for placement. Dr. Schwartz will provide restorations throughout the implant’s lifetime and ensure all is well during each of your routine visits thereafter.
What steps are involved in dental implants and how long does the process take?
For this important first step, we refer patients to oral surgeons that we know and trust. A dental implant utilizes an artificial post that replaces the natural root, made from very strong titanium metal. The oral surgeon will insert the post into the jawbone via a short surgical procedure. The post fuses with the jawbone so it is firmly anchored in position, which takes three to six months. After the implant has fused properly, we create a small connector post called an abutment that is attached to the post to securely hold the new tooth/crown that we create in our office. The tooth is attached so securely, you’ll be able to eat your favorite foods, maintain an active lifestyle, play sports, and more—without worrying about the tooth falling out.
What are the benefits of an implant compared to a bridge?
An implant creates a level of durability that cannot be replicated by a bridge or any other dental procedure. With proper care, an implant can last a lifetime, whereas a bridge has a limited lifespan. To create a bridge, the two teeth that abut the open space need to be shaved down a little to make room for the replacement tooth, so there is some bone/gum loss. Typically, the two abutting teeth are also crowned to provide stability. An implant does not result in any gum or bone loss and offers the most aesthetically pleasing solution.