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Dental Implants 101: Your Guide to Replacing Missing Teeth

June 4, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drcapehart @ 6:59 am
Close up of dental implant post and crown

Looking to make the switch from dentures? Recently lost one or more teeth? With over 5 million dental implants placed each year, implant treatment is one of the most popular ways to restore missing teeth. However, many people are still not very familiar with implants. If you are just starting to research ways to rebuild your smile, this dental implants 101 blog can help! Below are the basics of dental implants, including their key benefits and what to expect from the implant process.

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a small titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone beneath the gums. The implant integrates with the surrounding bone to provide a sturdy base for a crown, bridge, or denture. By replacing the missing tooth root structure, dental implants provide maximum stability and improved dental function compared to dentures or bridges.

What Is the Implant Process Like?

Implant treatment typically takes 4 to 6 months to complete and involves the following steps:

  • Initial consultation – Your dentist will first examine your teeth and mouth and discuss your specific smile goals. They will likely take X-rays to evaluate the strength of your jawbone.
  • Implant placement – If you are a good candidate, your dentist or a trusted specialist will surgically insert implants into your jaw where your teeth are missing. Over the next several months, the implants will fuse with the surrounding bone. This natural process is known as “osseointegration.”
  • Abutments Once your implants have healed, your dentist will attach abutments and take impressions of your mouth. Abutments are small connector pieces that allow restorations to attach to implants.
  • Restoration – Finally, once your gums have healed around the abutments and your restoration is ready, your dentist will attach your new artificial teeth to your implants.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants are one of the most popular tooth replacement solutions due to their many benefits, such as:

  • Natural Appearance – Dental implants are custom-designed and have a translucent quality similar to natural teeth.
  • Versatility – Dental implants can replace one tooth, several teeth, or even an entire arch.
  • Improve Dental Function – Implant restorations function just like natural teeth, which means you can continue to eat your favorite foods and brush and floss like normal.
  • Prevent Bone Loss – Implants stimulate the jawbone just like tooth roots do, preventing bone deterioration.
  • Long-Lasting – With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can easily last for decades.

Are You a Good Candidate?

If you are missing teeth or currently wear dentures and want a more reliable restoration, you are likely a good candidate for dental implants. While every case is slightly different, in general, successful implant candidates must have:

  • Healthy teeth and gums
  • Adequate jawbone thickness
  • Good oral hygiene habits

The best way to determine if dental implants are right for you is to contact an experienced dentist.

About the Author

Dr. Christopher Capehart is dedicated to helping his neighbors in Lewisville and surrounding areas maintain healthy, complete smiles. The Texas native offers a full range of restorative treatments at his private practice, including bridges, dentures, and dental implants. To learn more about the basics of dental implants, visit the Capehart Dental website or call 972-436-1325.

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