A smile that has a gaping hole where a tooth should be can be a confidence killer. But more importantly, empty spaces in your mouth can lead to more serious health issues like jaw bone deterioration or uneven wear for the surrounding teeth.
There are several ways you can fill the space created by missing teeth:
While each method has their advantages, dental implants may be the best option for you.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are artificial teeth that are designed to look and function like your original teeth. A dental implant is made of three different pieces: the crown, abutment, and screw.
Crowns are designed to look like the section of your tooth that appears above the gumline. They are typically made of porcelain or ceramic, and colored to closely match your other teeth.
The abutment connects the crown to the screw. The screw is the “implant,” as it is the piece, usually made from surgical-grade titanium, that is inserted into your jaw bone to form the root of your new tooth.
What are the advantages of a dental implant?
A dental implant has many advantages, including:
- Permanence. They are attached directly to your jaw bone and are more secure than other alternatives. With proper care, dental implants can last the rest of your life.
- Comfort. Because they are securely fixed to bone, they don’t shift or move when you eat or talk. Dentures can slide when you chew, laugh, or sneeze.
- Preserves surrounding teeth: Unlike bridges, dental implants don’t rely on surrounding teeth for support or stability. This means you won’t have to be concerned with wear and tear from a bridge rubbing against your other teeth.
- Preventing bone loss: When you’re missing teeth, the jaw bone begins to erode. Implants force the jaw to regrow around them, which encourages new bone growth and helps maintain teeth alignment.
What can I expect from a dental implant procedure?
Getting dental implants means getting oral surgery, with the entire process lasting several months. While the specific procedure will vary, you can expect the following stages:
- Assessment of your jaw and taking scans and impressions to determine your mouth’s structure.
- Potentially augment your jaw wit a surgical procedure to graft in additional bone.
- Implanting the screw and allowing time for the jaw and gums heal around it.
- Attaching the crown to complete your implant process.
Despite this multi-session treatment, dental implants are still the preferred way to restore missing teeth. as they look great and can last a long time.
Where can I get a dental implant?
If you live in Austin, TX, and you are ready to restore one or more missing teeth with dental implants, call or book online for a consultation at Airport Dental Care. Dr. Brian LaBombard is a board-certified dentist with years of oral healthcare experience and can answer any questions you may have regarding dental implants.