Dental Implants in Houston
If you are missing one or more teeth, you know that it can be detrimental to your overall health and wellness. The inability to eat a healthy and well balanced diet, jawbone degeneration, and a compromised self-image are just a few side effects of missing teeth. You may have tried solutions like dentures, bridges or partials, and have grown tired of the upkeep or messy adhesives that are sometimes required. If this describes your situation, then there is good news. You do not have to live with temporary fixes any longer. Just ask Houston dentists Dr. Juarez, Dr. Lindskog, or Dr. Lent about permanent, secure tooth replacement with dental implants.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Regardless of what led to your tooth loss—advanced periodontal disease is the #1 reason—the important step to take as soon as possible is tooth replacement. A crown and bridge or dentures merely rest on top of your gums. And while these are excellent at providing a complete smile and fuller facial features, they simply cannot truly mimic the actual structure of a tooth.
A dental implant, on the other hand, provides both the look and support of a full tooth. Your dental implant is actually comprised of three parts:
- The implanted titanium post
- An abutment
- The tooth restoration
Together, these three components give you a lifelike substitute for one or more teeth. You’ll never have to worry about debris or plaque accumulating underneath a bridge. And with an implant holding a prosthetic in place, there’s no chance of a partial or full denture ever slipping or even falling out of your mouth.
Dental implants have proven to be a highly effective, long-term solution for replacing one or more teeth. Patients can have one dental implant topped by a single crown, or multiple implants to securely anchor a denture or bridge. Studies show that dental implants provide greater structural support and last longer than traditional bridges or dentures. Mimicking a natural tooth’s structure, a dental implant consists of a metal post, like a tooth’s root, and a restoration on top, like the visible tooth structure. The implant post is most often made of biocompatible titanium, a strong and safe material that effectively integrates with bone.
The Dental Implant Process
The road to your complete smile begins with implant placement by one of our trusted and internationally renowned periodontists or oral surgeons. Prior to your procedure, the position of each implant is precisely planned according to x-rays that show the location of the greatest bone density in your jaw. Sufficient bone density is crucial to the long-term success of your implants. If the location where you need an implant happens to lack bone density, then bone graft surgery may be an option. Your Houston dentist or the oral surgeon will discuss this with you.
Placing the Dental Implant
First, the surgeon will make sure you experience no pain or discomfort during the procedure by administering a local anesthetic. Many of these professionals offer sedation dentistry for patients who are feeling anxious. Don’t hesitate to ask if you would like sedation. However, some patients report that the procedure is no more difficult to tolerate than having a filling placed in a tooth damaged by decay.
Once the anesthetic has taken effect, a small incision is made in the gum where the implant will be placed. The dental implant is embedded in the bone and your gums are sutured back together.
For the first few days after placement, you’ll need to be careful when you eat and when you brush your teeth. Try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth and don’t brush over the sutures. If you are receiving implant-retained dentures, then you may have temporary overdentures to wear that will protect your gums while you heal.
The Healing Process
Over the months of healing, the implant and surrounding bone tissue become tightly bonded. It is this bond that provides the solid foundation for your eventual tooth restoration. A symbiotic relationship between post and bone develops; the bone holds the post and the post stimulates the bone to remain full and healthy.
Completing the Dental Implant Process
Once you have completely healed, you’ll return to your dentist to have the restoration attached. First, an abutment is placed on top of the implant. Your gums will then need a couple of weeks to expand and heal around the abutment. Lastly, the custom crafted tooth restoration is attached to the abutment. The entire process usually takes about three to six months.
If you need a permanent replacement for your missing teeth, consider dental implants. This solution looks and functions more like natural teeth than any replacement option to date.