A patient who is facing a choice of treatment to replace a missing tooth will consider a number of factors, including the structure of the replacement tooth and the long-term stability of the intervention. While no prosthetic currently available fully replicates a biological tooth, dental implants offer the most structurally complete tooth replacement for patients.
A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder that essentially replaces a missing tooth’s root. After a dentist inserts an implant into a patient’s jaw, the bone material in that area will form a strong bond with the implant’s surface. The implant becomes a permanent structure affixed in the jawbone, much in the same way a natural tooth’s root is.
In doing so, the implant not only supports an artificial crown, bridge or denture to restore the visible crown portion of the tooth. It also helps to stabilize the underlying jawbone, which atrophies in the absence of a tooth’s root. This quality means that dental implants can last for decades with adequate professional care and a healthy home oral care routine.
Additionally, dental implants are better positioned to withstand the forces needed to process harder or crunchy foods, allowing patients to continue to enjoy a healthy diet that includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Dental implants are placed in an outpatient surgery that takes just a few hours. Depending on the extent of restoration you need (and therefore, the number of dental implants), you may be able to return to work or school as early as a day or two after your appointment.
Because dental implants do require a surgical procedure for placement, your provider will discuss the risks associated with that so that you are making a fully informed decision about this treatment. You will also receive thorough instructions about post-operative care to reduce the risk of complications that could result in implant failure.
Patients who want to access the tooth replacement that most closely simulates a biological tooth should explore dental implants as a treatment option. If you have suffered tooth loss and want to learn more about this intervention, contact the office of Dr. Barry Buchanan at 214-343-1818 today.