Dental implants are small titanium screws placed under the gums in the position of missing teeth, which support an artificial tooth (teeth) or denture. Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth or an entire mouth of teeth.
Many issues arise when patients lose teeth. Decreased chewing function and bite problems result due to less surface area being available for chewing. When a tooth is missing, the other teeth take more of the chewing force and stress.
Over time, this can cause issues with the remaining teeth. The poor appearance caused by gaps in the smile is another consequence of missing teeth. This can often cause anxiety in social situations.
Over time, the teeth can also shift or tilt, creating an uneven bite and resulting in undesirable forces on the remaining teeth. Bone loss is another consideration with missing teeth. After the extraction, the jaw bone in that area slowly begins to shrink away. When left for a long enough time period, there may not be enough bone remaining to place a dental implant.
At All American Dental, Dr. John Wietholder uses state of the art technology to ensure the precise placement of dental implants. This technology includes 3-D x-rays, advanced computer software, and surgical guides, which create a very high level of safety for the procedure. Dr. Wietholder has also completed advanced education in dental implants.
We complete dental implants in phases due to the human body’s natural response to the implant. If you have a tooth that requires extraction, a bone graft may be placed to accelerate healing. Once the site has completely healed, we place the dental implant. The implant then requires a healing period prior to the placement of the artificial tooth (crown) or attachment to a denture. In some instances, however, the implant may be placed at the same appointment as the tooth extraction. This shortens overall treatment time.
The dental implant procedure is relatively non-invasive and is usually performed with local anesthetic only. We understand, however, that many patients have anxiety regarding dental treatment. As with any of our procedures, we offer oral sedation and nitrous oxide (laughing gas).
Dental implants restore chewing function and prevent the shifting of teeth that often occurs when a tooth is missing. They also help prevent jawbone loss in the areas of missing teeth. Once fully restored with an artificial tooth, dental implants look and perform like your natural teeth, but they cannot get cavities. If the implant is well taken care of, it can last a lifetime.
Dental implants are as easy to take care of as regular teeth. You need to brush, floss, and have regular preventive hygiene checks. There is no need for a special brush or toothpaste. Treat them like the rest of your teeth.
Call All American Dental in Columbia, MO, at 573-449-1918 to schedule your consultation.