What are Dental Implants?
It All Starts with Tooth Loss
The need for state of the art tooth replacement options begins with tooth loss. Accident, extensive decay, and congenital defect can compromise tooth structure to the extent that extraction is the only course of action. Additionally, advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, remains the number one cause of tooth loss among American adults, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Fortunately, tooth loss--involving one tooth or multiples--does not have to spoil smile aesthetics, facial features, eating or speaking. The dentists at Gordon Family Dental in Lehi, UT have the expertise to evaluate prospective implant patients and to place custom-fabricated dental implants and lifelike restorations, such as porcelain crowns, for well-functioning, no-gap smiles.
Dental implants are synthetic structures that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are anchored to the jawbone or metal framework on the bone and act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases, implants can be used to attach dentures.
Not everyone in Lehi is a candidate for a dental implant, however. For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density and have a strong immune system. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene.
The Implant Process
Dental implants are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Implants are usually made of a synthetic yet biocompatible material like metal or ceramic.
Surgery is necessary to prepare the area for an implant and place the implant in the mouth. Following the procedure, a period of time is required for the implant to take hold and for bone tissue to build up and anchor the device. In some cases, metal posts are inserted into the implant during a follow-up procedure to connect the tooth. Because implants require surgery, our patients are administered anesthesia and, if necessary, antibiotics to stave off infection following the procedure. Like any restoration, implants require diligent oral hygiene and proper care to ensure they last a long time.
Sometimes patients require bone grafting from human or animal sources to augment jaw bone weakened by extraction. This relatively quick and comfortable process provides a stable base for in-office insertion of a metal dental implant device. Composed of titanium, the dental implant screws right into the jaw. The dentists at East Cooper Dental Implants use cutting edge BioHorizons dental implants which are known for their design stability and affinity for human bone. Through a process called osseointegration, the dental implant melds with the jaw, providing it with a large measure of strength and density.
After some healing time, the dentist places an extension post on the implant and then a custom-fabricated porcelain crown as the final dental implant restoration. Dental implants and their restorations may be placed singly or in multiples. They also support partial or full dentures for the best fitting, biting and speaking available to the restorative dentistry patient.
Life with Dental Implant Restorations
Dental implants last for a lifetime, says the Academy of Osseointegration. They do not decay or shift position. The only real threat to their survival is peri-implantitis, an inflammatory and infectious process much like advanced gum disease. Peri-implantitis comes from:
- smoking or chewing tobacco
- poor oral or overall health (uncontrolled diabetes, for example)
- negligent dental hygiene
With good in-home brushing and flossing and regular preventive visits to Gordon Family Dental, these restorations function well and look great for decades.
Learn More about Dental Implant Restorations
If you're looking to repair your smile, call the Lehi, UT office of Gordon Family Dental today at (801) 766-6344 to schedule your consultation for dental implants!