Many people find that dental implants, when combined with a restoration like a dental crown, dentures, or a dental bridge, are the “next best thing” to natural teeth. The result is a smile that looks, feels, and functions like your own! Longmeadow, MA dentist Dr. James Dores can help determine if dental implants are right for you and which restorations will work best with your implants. Call Dores Dental at 413-241-3995 for a dental implant consultation.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw in your jawbone. It serves as an artificial “root” for a dental crown or other restoration that will replace your missing tooth. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple teeth, or even all of your teeth.
They actually have three parts:
- The implant
- An abutment, which connects the implant to a restoration
- The restoration that sits atop the abutment
Benefits of Dental Implants
The biggest benefit of dental implants is they look and function more like your natural teeth than dentures or a dental bridge. To be more specific:
- Because the implant is embedded in your jaw, it isn’t going anywhere. It won’t become loose or slip around in your mouth, and it will provide a solid foundation for your restoration.
- Your surrounding teeth will remain intact. With a dental bridge, your adjacent teeth would need to be modified.
- A dental implant will not change the way you care for your teeth. You will brush and floss, just like before.
- A dental implant stimulates your jawbone much like your natural tooth. This stimulation helps reduce the bone loss that can occur with a dental bridge or dentures.
Science Behind a Dental Implant
There is science behind a dental implant. After a dental implant is placed in the socket of your missing tooth, you will wait for your jawbone to grow up around the implant during the healing process. This process is called “osseointegration.” (Maybe it will show up on your child’s next biology exam!)
Healing usually takes six to 12 weeks. Dr. Dores may put a material designed to encourage bone growth into the socket. And you’ll likely come to our Longmeadow, MA dentist office for a quick checkup or two during this period, so he can make sure healing is progressing.
Your Dental Implant: Final Steps
Once your bone has grown around the implant, you are ready for the final two steps of your restoration:
- Dores will attach the abutment to your implant.
- Then he will attach your replacement tooth, likely a same-day dental crown, to the abutment. In some cases, you can receive an attachment that will support a removable denture.