Dental implants provide an effective and permanent solution to tooth loss, which affects over 70% of US adults over the age of 35. Made of metal such as titanium, these implants provide a secure foundation to support false teeth.
Loretto Family Dentistry uses modern dental implants to restore long-term oral functionality. Our oral and maxillofacial experts are highly experienced in the outpatient procedure, improving their quality of life.
What are Dental Implants?
Untreated infections, severe dental disease, gum disease, tooth decay, and trauma from accidents can lead to tooth loss. Since missing teeth impact both functionality and looks, artificial teeth are transplanted to replace them.
A fixed structure is necessary for placing artificial tooth/teeth permanently. Similar to root canal therapy, dental implants replace the natural root of the tooth, providing a foundation for artificial teeth.
The implant consists of two main parts; the screw-like lower portion that is embedded into the jaw bone and the abutment that lies on top of the implant for the crown or fake tooth to be fixed on. These are made of titanium.
While implants have restored millions of people’s smiles, their effectiveness as a solution for tooth loss varies from person to person. Consultation with a professional, such as Kristina Mackie, DDS, is step one in the process.
How are they Implanted?
Dental implants are anchored in the bone underneath the missing tooth. This is why the procedure depends on the amount and integrity of the bone left.
Kristina Mackie, DDS at Loretto Family Dentistry will first examine your oral cavity with a thorough physical dental exam. A panoramic x-ray image and a 3D cone beam CT will be obtained to gauge the structure of the bone.
If needed, we will perform a bone grafting procedure first to make room for the implant. It takes up to 6 months for the bone graft to heal and fuse with the jaw bone.
During this time, the dentist will convey the details for your crown or fake tooth to the ceramist to have it ready for the next phase.
In 6 more months, once the implant has been fused and the surgical site has healed, the dentist will place the abutment and attach the porcelain crown.
Dental Implant Care
The healing process after the implant placement procedure requires care. Consuming soft foods, maintaining generally good oral hygiene, and avoiding forceful impacts with the surgical site are important.
With proper care, patients have good chances of successful attachment. However, smoking, diabetes, poor oral hygiene, immunodeficiency, and radiation therapy might impact its success. In such cases, the dentist will provide you with a care plan or an alternative treatment option.
Who is Eligible?
Dental implants are generally a safe procedure for most adults and young adults in their late teens. Younger teens are not recommended implants as their facial bones are still forming.
Barring that, anyone with missing teeth and a generally clean bill of health are eligible to receive a dental implant. However, expert consultation is necessary to determine eligibility in every case.
Whether you’ve endured tooth loss in an accident or an underlying oral health condition, call us at (940) 287-3535 today to book an appointment to restore your smile.
Love everyone I've encountered here! I was told about Dr. Mackie a few months ago and just wish I'd known about her sooner! She is very thorough and kind. It's a bit of a drive for me, but I don't mind and actually look forward to my visits!