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For patients suffering from tooth loss, decided which option is best for you can be a daunting process. Whether you are missing one tooth or several teeth, Stamford Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Arts has the solution for you. They are called dental implants, and they can help fix your smile and improve your oral health. Dental implants are small titanium screws that are surgically placed into your jaw. The screw is attached to an abutment, which provides additional support for the restoration.
Implant-based restorations can range from a single tooth to an entire arch of teeth. Each implant functions as the “root” of a tooth, allowing us to capitalize on your bone structure, and provide stability needed to support a prosthesis. This process requires a healthy amount of bone in the jaw. In many cases, we can perform the dental implant procedure using your existing bone. Patients with significant bone deterioration may need to undergo a bone graft procedure (or several), to properly support the implant. This can be an issue for patients who have relied on traditional dentures or neglected to restore missing teeth for quite some time.
When you lose your teeth, your jawbone loses the physical stimulation it needs to remain healthy. Your bone will begin to break down and return to your blood stream in a process known as resorption. If you are missing a single tooth, the surrounding teeth will begin to compensate for the open space. This can dramatically affect your bite and cause further problems down the road. That is why we recommend dental implants as a safe, quick, and effective way to maintain proper oral health.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The implant procedure begins with a consultation. Once you have been deemed a suitable candidate, we can develop a treatment plan, and schedule a date for the surgery.
The operation is minor, but it does require the use of local anesthetic or other sedation, depending on individual preference. A small incision is made in the gums, and the implant is delicately placed into the jawbone. Once the operation is complete, we will suture the incision. The sutures will be removed after seven to ten days, and in some cases, you may be given a temporary prosthesis.
The healing process usually takes about three to six months. We recommend avoiding hard-to-eat foods and protecting the incision site. Once the implant has healed and properly fused with your bone, we can place the abutments during a second minor operation. Modern technology has allowed us to create zirconium abutments, ensuring that the new porcelain prosthesis maintains the aesthetic properties of a natural tooth.
After the abutments are in place, a molded impression will be made and used to create your final restoration. The restoration will be shaded to match the color of your existing teeth, and then bonded to the abutment using a special cement. Once the process is complete, you can walk out of the office with a new, natural-looking tooth.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth. Because they fuse with the bone, they become a permanent fixture in your mouth. This provides a level of convenience that other restorations cannot achieve. You can brush and floss as you normally would, without having to worry about specialized equipment or taking out your restoration. Your speech will not be affected because you will not need to worry about your new implant slipping. You can eat in comfort, knowing you have the support needed to chew the toughest foods without pain.
Dental implants can give you back a smile you deserve. Because they appear so natural, you may find yourself with a renewed sense of confidence, and even forget you have a dental implant!
Dental implants prevent future bone deterioration by providing the stimulation needed to keep your jaw from undergoing bone resorption. Also, implants do not alter surrounding teeth and can prevent them from shifting. Traditional bridges require the reshaping of surrounding teeth to support the prosthetic. This reshaping can lead to possible problems in the future. With implants, more of your teeth are left intact, ultimately improving your long-term oral health.
Dental implants have a proven track record of reliability and longevity. In fact, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) has reported the success rate of implant-related procedures at 98 percent. In other words, implant failure is rare, but it does happen. Patients who actively smoke are at higher risk for implant failure, and may not be eligible to receive dental implants. If this does not apply to you, your dental implant can last decades or even a lifetime with proper care!
Contact Us About Dental Implants
If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, contact us at
(203) 325-2661, and schedule your consultation visit today!