Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth, serving as an option to traditional procedures such as dental bridges and dentures. The implant is made from a titanium post that’s embedded in the jawbone. It replaces the root of the original tooth, and it securely anchors the new tooth. A specially shaped piece of metal, the abutment, is fastened to the top of the implant, then the new tooth is attached to the abutment.
Implants can be embedded in the jaw without bothering surrounding teeth, and you can have multiple dental implants. However, your gums must be healthy and your jawbone must be able to support the implant. If the bone is too thin or soft, a bone graft may needed before an implant can be used.
At your first appointment, Dr. Brayman will give you a thorough dental exam to be sure you don’t have gum disease and to treat any issues like dental decay. Preparation for the implant includes X-rays and possibly a CT scan to get a better look at the jaw. Dr. Brayman will also take an impression of your mouth which is used to make the new tooth.
After all the preparation is done and the implant is ready, you’ll have dental surgery to install the metal post into the jawbone. Over the next 5-6 months, the area heals and the implant fuses with the surrounding bone. When you’re completely healed, the dental abutment and new tooth are attached.
Dental implants should be permanent — they can last a lifetime — but they can fail under certain circumstances. If you develop gum disease near the implant, infection and inflammation can damage the bone which could loosen the implant. While you don’t have to worry about dental decay, the crowns, bridges, or dentures attached to the implant can get cracked or damaged.
Certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases, affect whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants. Since Dr. Brayman is dedicated to practicing holistic dental care, she pays attention to the interaction between your overall health and dental problems. She’ll make sure you don’t have any health concerns that might prevent you from having a dental implant.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!