If you are missing one or more permanent teeth, you are not alone! The American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) estimates that about 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Unfortunately, a missing tooth can create several secondary issues that have detrimental effects on your oral health.
At Loretto Family Dentistry, we specialize in several tooth replacement options to prevent these secondary problems and get your smile back on track. One of our most popular treatments involves implant restorations. Dental implants have truly revolutionized the way we correct the function and aesthetics of a missing tooth.
What Is an Implant Restoration?
An implant restoration generally consists of three components:
||The Dental Implant: An implant is a tiny screw, typically made from titanium, that serves as the root component of a prosthesis. The screw is placed underneath the gum tissue and into the jawbone during minor surgery.
||The Abutment: An abutment is a support structure, made from titanium, porcelain, or zirconia, that attaches to the head of the implant screw. Besides providing additional support, an abutment helps link the screw to the restoration.
||The Restoration: These days, dental implants can be used to support a wide variety of restorations, from single dental crowns to full-arch appliances. Most of these restorations are made from porcelain or zirconia to provide you with the very best in aesthetics.
The Implant Procedure
The implant process begins with a consultation appointment. Once we determine that you are a suitable candidate for an implant restoration, we can schedule your procedure. Most implant treatments are broken up into two minor surgeries, several months apart from one another.
During your first surgery, we will make a small incision in the gums to expose the underlying bone. The number of incisions we make is dictated by the number of implants you need. A single implant is used to support a crown, while a series of implants are used to support a partial or complete fixed bridge.
Once the implant is in place, we will suture the incision. For the next six months or so, the implant screw and your jawbone will fuse during a process known as osseointegration. Osseointegration causes the implant to mimic the relationship between the tooth root and jawbone. This allows the implant to support a restoration against even the strongest forces of your bite.
We usually need to wait until osseointegration is complete before we place the abutment. However, it is also possible to place the abutment at the same time as the screw, eliminating the need for a second surgery. Once the abutment is in place, we will take an impression.
The impression is used by our laboratory technicians to fabricate your final restoration. This process may take several weeks to complete. In the meantime, Kristina Mackie, DDS may install a temporary restoration to protect the implant and restore your ability to chew and speak properly.
Why Choose an Implant Restoration?
Dental implants have numerous benefits over more traditional restorations. In short, an implant-supported restoration will look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. Whether we use porcelain or zirconia, most people will not realize you have a restoration!
Implant restorations are also more comfortable and convenient. You will be able to eat your favorite foods without having to worry about embarrassing slips or gum irritation. You can also maintain your restoration as you would your natural teeth, with regular brushing, flossing, and appointments.
Above all else, implant screws are better for your oral health. When you lose a tooth, you lose the physical stimulation your jawbone needs to avoid deterioration. An implant screw supplements this stimulation, allowing you to maintain a stronger, more youthful facial structure.
Schedule Your Consultation Now!
Find out if you, too, could benefit from implant restoration! Call (940) 287-3535 to schedule your initial consultation today!