Dental implants are among the most exciting innovations in dentistry. These permanent tooth replacements can help you feel great about your smile, and can also have important health benefits. If you have questions about dental implants, or would like to get an estimate for having one or more implants placed, schedule a consultation with Dr. Erika Burley today. Finding an appointment time at the Charlotte, North Carolina, office is easy online or over the phone.
Dental implants are a permanent tooth-replacement option. Some people only need a single implant to replace a broken tooth, while others opt for multiple or even a complete set of dental implants.
Most types of dental implants have three components:
This is the portion that is anchored directly into your jaw bone. It is made of metal — usually titanium.
This small piece serves to connect the implant to the crown. It can also hold a temporary implant while your gums and bone tissue heal.
This is the visible portion of your dental implant. It’s attached to the abutment, and both looks and functions just like your natural teeth.
If you have one or more missing teeth, your jaw and surrounding teeth react to that loss. Your nearby teeth will begin to shift out of position, which could cause problems with your bite or speech.
The root of each tooth is anchored into your jaw bone. This connection is stimulated every time your teeth make contact with food or opposing teeth.
This stimulation helps your bone tissue remain healthy and strong. Without it, that area of your jaw can begin to wear away — a process called bone resorption. Nearby teeth can lose their firm anchor, causing additional tooth loss.
Dental implants prevent bone loss by replacing the lost tissue stimulation. Because they are anchored directly into your jaw bone, they look and act like natural teeth, even below the surface of your gums.
The process begins with a thorough dental exam to determine if you have sufficient bone tissue to sustain a dental implant. If so, Dr. Burley administers medication to keep you comfortable during the procedure.
She opens your gum tissue to access the bone. A pilot hole makes it easier to place the implant in the ideal position. Next, the gum tissue opening is closed, a temporary crown is installed, and a period of healing follows.
It takes time for your bone tissue to heal around the new implant — a process known as osseointegration. After a period of 3-6 months, you return for a check-up and to have impressions made to create your crown.
When your crown is ready, Dr. Burley attaches it to the abutment. It takes several weeks for your gum tissue to heal and adjust to the new implant.
To learn more about whether dental implants are right for you, contact Burley Cosmetic Dentistry at your earliest convenience.