Dental implants have been used successfully since the 1980s as a permanent solution for replacing teeth. Since then, millions of people have gotten dental implants as it became the preferred method of replacing missing teeth, owing to the fact that they match the appearance and function of natural teeth so well. Patients who get dental implants can easily forget the implant is there if the implant is placed by an experienced implant specialist and restored by a skilled cosmetic dentist.
A dental implant is a screw, generally made from titanium, that is implanted securely into the jaw and topped with a dental restoration such as dental crown, bridge, or fixed denture. This means dental implants can be used to replace anything from one tooth to a whole set of teeth, providing a cosmetic as well as functional solution to missing teeth. People who replace their missing teeth with dental implants report boosts in confidence from being able to smile, chew, and talk like they used to.
In addition to impacting confidence in social situations and the ability to chew, losing one or more tooth impacts the clinical situation in the mouth in multiple ways. When teeth are lost, the remaining teeth can shift as a result. Additionally, the bone and tissue levels at the site of the lost tooth start to shrink in a process known as resorption, making it harder to place a dental implant in the area.
These complex changes in the mouth that results from tooth loss make it imperative to find a skilled multi-specialty dental team to perform the dental implant surgery and restoration. The periodontist will have the experience to know how to restore tissue at the site of the missing tooth and place the dental implant. They will also discuss the best angle and depth for placing the dental implant with the prosthodontist or cosmetic dentist, accounting for the changed situation in the mouth and what the final restoration will look like. All of the steps involved will be discussed in detail with the patient in advance to ensure patient confidence and peace of mind.
This complex procedure requires multiple visits, but with proper care the implants should last decades, making every minute of treatment and planning worth it many times over. If you are interested in starting this journey with the team members of Natick Dental Health, please give the Natick dental office a call to discuss your needs and schedule a dental implant consultation.