Are missing teeth keeping you from smiling? The skilled professionals at McLean DDS can help you get the natural, comfortable smile of your dreams. Our state-of-the-art, natural looking and functioning dental implants restore your beautiful smile — permanently and without the hassle of adhesives. Resume smiling, laughing and chewing the way you did before. Don’t let missing teeth cause you to miss out on your best life!
What Are Dental Implants?
In the event of tooth loss, dental implant replacements can restore your smile — and your confidence. Implants are artificial tooth roots made of titanium and other materials compatible with the human body. These artificial roots, or posts, are surgically implanted in the jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. Replacement teeth are permanent, stable, and look and feel just like your natural teeth.
Why Dental Implants are Needed
Prior to the advent of dental implants, the options for missing teeth were partial dentures and bridges, which can be inconvenient and messy. Dentures must be removed at night, fixed onto the gums with messy adhesives, can shift when you chew or talk, and are often uncomfortable. Bridges are great treatment alternatives; however, they involve preparing adjacent teeth to allow retention for a single tooth replacement site. In some cases this involves the removal of healthy tooth structure to allow adequate space for a bridge. Implants allow us to focus solely on the missing area, leaving adjacent, healthy structures untouched. When you need replacement teeth but don’t want the hassle and discomfort of dentures and bridges, consider dental implants— you’ll be smiling, chewing and talking just like you did before. You can replace a single tooth, several teeth or a mouthful.
At McLean DDS, we work with a team of highly trained specialists who surgically implant the posts into your upper or lower jaw, where they will anchor your replacement teeth. While your mouth heals, your dentist may prescribe a soft diet. During the healing process, called osseointegration, the bone grows around the implant, making it strong and holding it in place. This can take up to several months. In most cases, the replacement teeth are attached to the implant only after the integration is complete; occasionally the crown is attached at the same time that the implant is placed, depending on the location of the missing area.
We customize your new artificial tooth, which is called a crown. The crown is designed to match the size, shape and color of your natural teeth so it blends in seamlessly. When you replace several teeth, an implant-retained bridge or denture is custom-made to fit your mouth and fits effortlessly in the implants. Making replacement teeth takes some time; while your tooth or teeth are being made, your dentist may provide a temporary crown, bridge or denture that allows you to eat and speak normally until your permanent replacement is ready. Replacement teeth are attached to the implant by screws or cemented into place, depending on which option your dentist believes is right for your situation.
Dental implants are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth and restoring your smile. Though, because surgery is involved, this solution may not be right for everyone. If you’re in good health, regardless of your age, you are a viable candidate for dental implants. However, certain chronic diseases, such as leukemia and diabetes, inhibit the healing process; if this applies to you, implants may not be the right solution for you. We will work with your physician and our specialists to discuss all options and make the most informed decision with you.