They Why and How of Implants
One of the biggest goals in the dental community is to save natural teeth. Making sure we have regular checkups and address any issues that may be going on is one way to prevent tooth damage and/or loss. However, there are situations in which a natural tooth is lost and it is one of the things that we dread the most. Cavities cause bacteria which eat away at the enamel of our teeth. This causes decay and can lead to our gums becoming inflamed, which in turn can cause our teeth to become loose and fall out. Gum disease is a common cause of tooth loss.When we do not treat gum disease, it can cause the loss of the tissue which causes teeth to become loose, leading them to fall out. Illegal drugs can also cause severe tooth decay, specifically methamphetamines. Trauma to the mouth can cause you to lose a tooth, especially amongst athletes. Those are just a few of many other reasons we lose teeth.
When these situations occur, replacing a lost tooth with a dental implant is one of the most ideal solutions. Although no one can guarantee how long an implant will last, it is known that with proper care, implants can last forever. However, other alternatives typically last 5-15 years before they need to be replaced. The implant procedure has become easier through the years and you can typically replace a lost tooth, and have it restored within a year.
The placing of implants is normally performed in the dental office and is an outpatient procedure. The tooth is removed and if necessary, some bone may be added to the site to aid in the integration of the implant. This area then needs anywhere from 3-6 months of healing and then your dentist can place the implant. Implant surgery can take anywhere from 1-2 hours. Once the area is anesthetized; a small incision is and a small hole is drilled into the bone where the implant is then placed. The implant site then heals for 4-6 months and once complete integration is confirmed, you can then have the implant restored in approximately two weeks with a crown and can continue eating normally, as you would if it were a normal tooth.
If you are considering replacing a tooth with a dental implant or have any questions or concerns, please contact our office for a consultation and our doctors will be happy to discuss this option and answer any questions.