Tooth loss is a common problem, affecting about 178 million people in the United States alone. The loss of teeth can be caused by many factors—including tooth decay, gum disease, injury, or illness. When you lose one or more teeth, it can cause problems that gravely impact your smile’s health, function, and appearance. Fortunately, with years of advancements in the dental field, we are now able to offer the most natural restorative solution to missing teeth: dental implants.
To learn more about dental implants, we invite you to read below. Our Leander, TX team would be happy to answer any questions if you give us a call today.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small titanium posts that are placed into your jawbone to serve as a replacement for your tooth’s natural root system. Once the implant fuses with your jawbone (a process called osseointegration), a dental crown, bridge, or full arch prosthetic can be placed on top to complete your smile. The full implant consists of three parts:
- The titanium implant post, which is placed into your jawbone.
- The abutment, which is a small connector piece that is placed on top of the implant post to secure your dental restoration.
- The dental restoration, which is the visible portion of your implant (the prosthetic tooth or full arch prosthetic).
Why Choose Dental Implants?
There are many reasons to choose dental implants for tooth replacement, including:
- Improved oral health: Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. This means that more of your natural teeth are left untouched, which helps to improve your oral health in the long run.
- Improved appearance: Dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth.
- Improved function: Dental implants are securely fixed in place, which means that you can eat and speak with confidence.
- Long-lasting: With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.
The Types of Dental Implants
At our office, we offer multiple types of dental implants to meet your specific needs. This includes both single tooth dental implants and the full arch prosthetic. With these options, we can restore your smile no matter how many teeth you have lost.
Single Tooth Implants
As the name suggests, single tooth implants are used to replace a single missing tooth. Many patients don’t realize the impact that a single missing tooth can have on their smile. Not only does it affect your appearance, but it can also cause problems with your bite alignment and increase your risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
- To place a single tooth dental implant, our team will first numb the treatment area and make a small incision in your gum tissue.
- Next, we will place the implant post into your jawbone and close the incision with stitches.
- A healing abutment will be connected to the implant to leave a small opening in the gum tissue and prevent bacteria from invading the surgical area.
- The area will be allowed to heal for several months before the final dental crown is placed.
- Once the implant has fused with your jawbone, we will place a dental crown to conclude the procedure.
The full-arch implant option is designed to replace an entire row of missing teeth along the upper or lower dental arch. Unlike dentures, which rely on suction or adhesives to stay in place, the full arch prosthetic is securely fixed to a number of implant posts. This provides you with a stable, long-lasting solution that looks and feels just like your natural teeth. The process for placing full-arch implants goes as follows:
- First, our team will numb the treatment area and make incisions in your gum tissue.
- We will place between four and six dental implants along the dental arch.
- A temporary prosthetic will be placed to protect the implants as they fuse with your jawbone.
- Once the implants have fused with your jawbone, we will place your custom, full arch prosthetic.