A dental implant is a man-made replacement for the natural tooth root, which allows a person to return to non-removable teeth or a more secure prosthetic dental restoration.
Dental implants for tooth replacement have been around for more than sixty years now. Many people are familiar with hip or knee replacements to restore mobility. Dental implants utilize the same materials and technology- just smaller- to restore chewing function and health.
A dental implant is not a transplant, which would be taken from another individual.
A dental implant is made of medical grade titanium alloy. They look and feel just like your own teeth.
There are several types of dental implants of which Dr. Brown will select the most suited for your specific needs and general dental condition.
Implants are inserted into the jaw bone and extend into the mouth for attachment to the replacement teeth. You will not see the implants as they will be under the pink gum tissues. The process is very comfortable, and it is easier to numb bone than it is to numb teeth.
Where implants have been placed and properly maintained, the tendency is to preserve the tooth supporting bone mass because the bone is being used somewhat in the same way it was when the natural teeth were present. Therefore, many of the negative consequences of tooth loss can be avoided when implants are placed in a timely manner.
For this reason, sometimes Dr. Brown will recommend that the dental implants be placed the same day that the tooth is removed. Other times, it is best to wait for two to four months for initial healing after tooth removal before placing the implants.
Nevertheless, the best time to place implants is within the first year after tooth removal.
If you have been missing teeth for many years and bone loss has occurred; dental implants can still likely be placed to prevent further deterioration. Dr. Brown will evaluate your particular situation and advise you on the best course of action.
There are two basic groups:
Fixed teeth – patient cannot remove the teeth
Removable teeth - Patient can remove the teeth.
If you are missing one or several teeth, but still have many of your own natural teeth remaining in the arch then fixed options are usually recommended.
Note how the adjacent natural teeth are not altered. Replacement teeth remain independent of the remaining natural teeth.
Wherever possible it is recommended to have one implant per replacement tooth in order to maintain the bone mass.
If you are currently wearing complete dentures, or will soon have all remaining teeth removed then there are many choices for you to consider.