Tooth loss can cause:
Shifting and drifting of teeth [Image: Dental implants example #2 at Dental World of Marietta] Chewing difficulty
Loss of jaw bone structure, leading collapse of soft tissues of face
TMJ (jaw joint) changes
Loss of self confidence
Implants are used to replace missing teeth. They can also be used to stabilize loose dentures. Implants are special posts made of medical grade titanium (similar to the metal blend used in hip replacement and orthopedic surgery). These posts are placed underneath the gum and allowed to heal. It becomes your new root! This is usually done with local anesthesia with or without nitrous oxide (laughing gas). IV Sedation or General Anesthesia can also be used if desired. Most patients report the procedure to be completely painless.
Once the implant unites with the bone (approx 3-6 months), an abutment (connector) is placed onto the implant, an impression (mold) is taken and sent to the laboratory for a custom made tooth colored crown. The crown is cemented onto the abutment and you have your new tooth! These look and feel like natural teeth. In certain cases we can place implants at the same time as extractions (immediate implants). This means that if a tooth needs to come out, we can remove the tooth and place the implant, saving you treatment time.
Advantages over bridges:
preserve bone structure
no need to touch or prepare adjacent teeth
don’t get cavities (although regular good oral hygiene is still required)
you can floss in between teeth easily
Implants can also be placed under your denture to help hold them in place, improving speech, chewing, and preserving your jaw bone structure.
Please call our office to schedule an appointment to see if you are a candidate for dental implants. We have lots of experience placing dental implants. We will be happy to discuss all treatment options with you.