An excellent way to replace missing teeth.
- A missing tooth or teeth
- Potential bite and jaw joint problems from teeth shifting to fill the space
- The “sunken face” look associated with missing teeth
- Desire to improve chewing ability
- Desire for a more permanent solution than dentures
A dental implant is a fixed appliance used to replace the roots of a missing tooth. Dr. Pooley works in conjunction with an Oral Surgeon during the implant process. The Oral Surgeon surgically inserts the implant into to the jaw bone, then an artificial tooth (crown) is attached to the top of the implant by Dr. Pooley, creating a natural looking, virtually undetectable replacement for the missing tooth. In the event that more than one tooth is missing, several implants may provide a base for a series of artificial teeth known as a fixed bridge (see fixed bridges.) Implants can even be used to secure a full set of removable dentures for people who have no remaining natural teeth. This can greatly improve chewing ability and reduce the risk of choking.
It generally takes about six to eight months for the surgical implant to heal before the crown or bridge can be inserted.
Dental implants with a crown or bridge are the closest thing to regrowing your natural teeth. They are strong, stable, durable and virtually undetectable. By filling gaps left by missing teeth, implants can provide better chewing ability and head off jaw joint problems. In most cases, they are far superior to removable dentures.
Dental implants are excellent, state-of-the-art restorations and have few disadvantages when compared to alternatives such as dentures. Bone grafting may be necessary to support an implant, which can add additional heal time and cost. However, dental implants do require surgery and healing time, and they are initially more expensive than dentures or fixed bridges. These disadvantages are offset by the ease of use, saved time and long term health benefits of implants.
Bridges and dentures are the alternatives to dental implants. While implants are ideal, there are some cases in which a bridge or denture may be a better option.