Dental implants enable cosmetic dentistry professionals to create healthy, attractive smiles in an innovative way. Used to replace one or more missing teeth, implants are another alternative to conventional bridges and dentures. In essence, dental implants act and look like natural teeth. And, because they maintain bone mass, dental implants can help prevent additional tooth loss as well as the sunken facial appearance associated with missing teeth of a bio-compatible titanium screw and post topped by a crown bridge or denture.
The implant is surgically replaced into the jawbone where it replaces the natural tooth root. In a few months, the implant securely attaches to the bone (called "osseointegration"), allowing it to withstand biting and chewing forces just like a healthy, natural tooth.
The most common indications for implant therapy include the replacement of one or more missing teeth, support of a non-removable "bridge" to replace multiple teeth, or support of a removable full or partial denture. Patients who successfully pass a screening and evaluation can be considered as candidates for implant replacement.
If it's determined that a patient does not have enough bone to support an implant restoration, bone grafting procedures may be considered. Heavy smoking and some medical conditions may preclude the use of implant therapy.
In the first appointment, Dr. Weiser locates the appropriate site for the implant replacement, and typically take x-rays. Sometimes he may prescribe CT scans as well. Impressions are taken of the mouth and then used by the dental laboratory to create a customized restoration.
At the second appointment, Dr. Weiser performs the implant surgery, making an incision to expose the bone at the implant site. He then prepares the sire to receive the implant. Once the implant is secured, the gum tissue is sutured back over the implant.
The implant is left undisturbed for three to six months to allow it to osseointegrate with the bone. If the implant is in a visible area of the mouth, the patient may choose to wear a temporary prosthesis during the healing period. Dentures may be relined with soft liners to allow patients to comfortably wear them during the healing process.
Once the implant has been completely integrated with the bone, a post is attached to the implant. Dr. Weiser then creates the permanent tooth replacement.
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