Dental Implants are a wonderful procedure choice. When replacing a single missing tooth in most areas of the mouth, they are THE treatment of choice. They can replace a missing tooth or teeth, and after the final crown is placed, it can be very difficult for anyone else to know it is not your own tooth!
Decades ago when dental implants were entering the profession, there were many, many types of implants designed, researched, and tried. They all looked good in theory and on paper. Some worked, some failed. OK, many failed! But after years of study and use, the ones that don’t work are gone, and the ones that do work are here to stay.
Most implants are made of titanium alloys. They are placed by a qualified professional in the same place as the roots of the missing tooth were previously. After the bone heals around the implant (a term called “Osseointegration”) the implant is then restored with a crown, partial denture, or denture.
Implants are placed in a surgical setting, usually in the dental or oral surgery office, as an outpatient procedure. They are usually no more uncomfortable than having a tooth removed. The surgeon will explain everything to you, what you can expect, how long the healing will take, and when you can have the crown placed.
Before the introduction of implants, the most commonly provided procedure for a missing tooth was a bridge. A bridge is a crown on the tooth in front of the gap, one to fill the gap, and one on the tooth behind the gap. It is all one piece, and is bonded in like a single crown. It can be metal, ceramic, or a combination. It looks, feels, and functions like a tooth. We still use bridges in those instances where an implant may not be the best choice. But as there are pros, there are also cons to bridges, and Dr. Miller can explain those to you so you can make the choice you feel is right for you.
Obviously this is just a quick overview of implants, and there is a lot of information we can discuss. Make sure to ask the questions you want answered, and we will do our best to give you all the information necessary to make the best choice for you!