At Wahlers Family Dentistry, we have several options available for replacing missing teeth. One of the most popular treatments, which also happens to have a number of long-term oral health advantages, is dental implants.
Dr. Wahlers has restored dental implants for hundreds of patients over the length of his career. This is one of the best ways to replace a damaged or missing tooth, and we would love to talk with you about your options and find out if an implant is a great choice for you.
What Is a Dental Implant?
Each dental implant consists of three basic parts:
- The implant itself, which is a biocompatible titanium “artificial root” that is placed in your jaw by an oral surgeon or periodontist. Many patients are surprised when they discover this is usually a quick and painless procedure.
- The abutment, or connector, which is used to attach your restoration to your new root.
- The restoration, typically a crown, which takes the place of the missing tooth or teeth.
Dental implants can be restored with crowns to replace a single missing tooth, bridges to replace two or more adjacent teeth, or even dentures, which attach securely to a few strategically placed implants to replace all of your teeth on your upper or lower arch.
The Advantages of Dental Implants
Given the advances in modern dental technology, it’s reasonable to expect that any type of restoration you use to replace missing teeth will look natural and blend in well with your existing dentistry. Dental implants do this as well, but they also have a special advantage that causes them to stand out among other restorations types.
A relationship exists between the roots of your teeth and your dental bone. They work together to keep each other healthy. When you lose a tooth, however, the root no longer stimulates the dental bone to maintain itself. This leads to bone loss.
When you lose dental bone, your other teeth are at risk of tipping, shifting, or becoming loose and falling out. In time, bone loss can even change the shape of your face. Dental implants are special because instead of just replacing the visible part of your tooth that sits above the gumline, they also replace the root. This restores this important relationship and helps to maintain your bone health.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
At your evaluation, we will take x-rays and other images to assess your current level of health and see if you have enough bone to support a dental implant. Sometimes even if you do not have sufficient bone, a procedure can be performed that can build up your bone so that implants will be an option for you in the future.
If we determine that an implant is right for you and you are ready to proceed, we will refer you to a dental specialist we trust. The oral surgeon or periodontist will place the implants and stay in close contact with us so that we know when it’s the right time to restore the implants.
Then you will come back to our dental office and we will take impressions and images in order to to create your restoration. Once your restoration is ready, we simply attach it to your implant. Your new tooth or teeth will be ready and your smile will be as good as new!
Dental implant options can vary significantly from one patient to another. If you’d like to learn more about dental implants and would like to know if they might be an option for you, please call our office today to schedule a consultation and evaluation with Dr. Christopher Wahlers. We are looking forward to meeting with you and answering any questions you may have!