For years, losing a tooth meant replacing it with a partial denture or a bridge. Partial dentures are removable, and they’re a good option, but they must clasp around other remaining teeth to stay in place. A dental bridge stays in the mouth all of the time but requires grinding down adjacent teeth to hold it in place.
At Chappell Family Dentistry, we are pleased to offer our patients dental implants, a state-of-the-art solution to tooth replacement. Dental implants are advantageous because they stay in the mouth, function and look like natural teeth, and we don’t need to grind down other teeth to make them work.
What Is A Dental Implant?
A dental implant is nothing more than a man-made root. It is made out of titanium or a titanium alloy. Unlike stainless steel or other metals, your body accepts the implant in a process called osseointegration. Titanium is biocompatible so it bonds to the bone and becomes part of your dental anatomy. After an implant is placed, we need to let it heal for about four months, which allows the bone to integrate fully.
How Does A Dental Implant Work?
When the implant is integrated, we must restore it with a crown to regain the function of the tooth. During this process, we uncover the top of the implant and attach a piece called an abutment that will secure the restoration to the implant.
We then take an impression of the implant’s location as well as the surrounding teeth. This, along with an impression of your opposing teeth and a record of your bite, is used to make an implant crown that looks great and functions like a natural tooth. When the crown is ready a few weeks later, we try it in, ensure that everything fits correctly and looks good. We then attach the crown to implant and send you out to enjoy a meal.
How We Use Dental Implants
Implants are a great option for restoring a single lost tooth and can also be used to help anchor dentures so that they stay in place without adhesive. Oftentimes, we can use existing dentures and modify them so that they can snap into place onto dental implants. For people who need all of their teeth removed and do not want dentures, dental implants can be used to make fixtures that remain in the mouth all of the time.
Please Call to Arrange a Consultation
If you are missing a tooth or teeth or if your dentures aren’t staying comfortably in place, please call our Chappell dental office to arrange a convenient appointment. Dr. Dickey will be happy to explain how dental implants can benefit you.