A dental implant is a permanent and natural-looking replacement for a missing tooth. It is composed of a titanium post that’s implanted into the jawbone to serve as the tooth’s root and topped with a tooth-shaped crown, made of ceramic or porcelain. Today, crowns are so perfectly contoured and color-matched to a patient’s natural teeth that it is hard to visibly discern any difference between the two. The titanium post over time fuses naturally with the patient’s jaw bone, a process known as osseointegration. Implant surgery can replace one or more teeth provided there is sufficient bone to support the implants.
Some three million Americans have had dental implants to date, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Individuals who’ve lost a tooth or even multiple teeth as a result of periodontal disease, injury, or any other issue benefit from natural-looking dental implants. It’s not merely a matter of aesthetics either; when missing teeth are not replaced, it can set off a chain reaction of problems. The underlying jaw bone deteriorates. In addition, neighboring teeth move to fill in the gap, causing your bite to become misaligned. When this occurs, opposing teeth may start to extrude, further messing up the bite. These shifts create spaces where plaque accumulates, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Dental implants have an extremely high success rate and, while they may need occasional adjustments, they can last a lifetime.
This depends on the amount of bone loss. Those with a tremendous bone loss may have enough bone to hold the implant without significant bone grafting, as the jawbone supports the implant. Patients who have good general and oral health are ideal candidates. Dr. Alfano can evaluate your exact bone volume during your consultation appointment with our state of the art CT scanner.
Patients should care for implants the same way they do their natural teeth. This means regular brushing and flossing to remain clean and free of bacteria. Regular dental examinations are necessary to keep the implant in good condition.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!