Dental implants are considered by many to be the standard of care in tooth replacement. They are the tooth replacement method that most closely resembles natural teeth.
A dental implant is a way to replace the root of a missing tooth. It is a titanium fixture placed into the jaw bone where it becomes anchored and a new crown can then be attached to it. In this way, the entire missing tooth can be replaced. Dental implants allow us to replace your missing teeth in a safe, predictable, strong and stable manner. They can be used to replace just one missing tooth or all of a person’s teeth. For people who have loose dentures implants can provide a way for the dentures to clip firmly in place.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
When a dental implant is used to replace a missing tooth it gives you a more natural replacement. With traditional bridgework, the two teeth next to a missing tooth would have to be cut down and capped to support the bridge. Brushing and flossing around an implant is similar to natural teeth. With a bridge that has three teeth tied together (the missing tooth and the two teeth next to it) food can get trapped under and around the bridge and can be difficult to clean.
When implants are used to support dentures, the dentures are held tightly in place with clips. This may allow you to eat foods that you would not otherwise be able to chew. It also gives you a renewed sense of confidence and may improve speech and reduce discomfort.
When a tooth is lost, the bone in that area begins to shrink away. When a dental implant is placed, your bone will be preserved. Facial contours that can be affected by shrinking bone are also preserved.
The surgical part of your treatment consists of placing the implants into your jaw bone. For simple cases, a local anesthetic (Novocaine) can be used. For longer or more complicated procedures, sedation can be used to make you more comfortable. An incision will be made in the gum area. Once the implant has been placed, stitches will be used to close the gum. Some implants may require a second surgery to expose the implant and place an attachment on it to bring it above the gum line. Another type of implant remains exposed at the gum line and does not require a second surgery. Dr. Karras together with your general dentist will determine which implant type will give you the best result.
As with any treatment, complications can occur. Fortunately, in dental implant surgery, complications are rare. Dr. Karras will speak with you regarding the risks and benefits of your treatment. Your surgery will be performed with great care and every measure will be taken to assure your comfort and safety.