Tooth loss is a problem that impacts many areas of your life; it dictates your food choices because it hurts to chew and affects your interactions with others when you're always conscious of the gap in your smile. Over time, tooth loss can even cause your facial contours to change.
At Elizabeth Township Family Dentistry, we offer dental implants to restore your smile and quality of life. Dental implants are an excellent long-term tooth replacement if you want more stability than bridges, partial dentures, or dentures offer.
What Is a Dental Implant?
An implant is a titanium replacement root that mimics a real tooth's form, function, and appearance, from the artificial tooth root in your jaw to the crown that's visible when you smile.
After the process is complete, your implant tooth functions just like a natural tooth root.
Why is this important? There are several reasons:
Natural tooth roots hold teeth in place and help keep the jawbone strong and healthy. When you lose a tooth, that connection is lost, and the bone in your jaw starts to deteriorate.
Bone loss weakens support for surrounding teeth and contributes to a sunken or aged facial appearance. Replacing the lost root with a dental implant post reestablishes the connection, helping the jawbone stay strong and healthy.
What's the Process for Getting a Dental Implant?
The first step is an evaluation with Dr. Andrea Burns or Dr. Jonathan Caso, our experienced implant dentists. After a thorough assessment and review of your 3-D CT scans, they will confirm that you're a good implant candidate.
The planning stage comes next, where our dentists use your 3-D scans to fabricate surgical guides that direct them to the exact location in your mouth to place your implant. The careful planning involved with guided surgery reduces the risk of unexpected complications and ensures the implant is placed precisely for the most favorable long-term outcome.
Elizabeth Township Family Dentistry is one of the only dental offices in our area to use leading-edge eco-friendly Green CBCT scans. These high-resolution, low-dose scans offer increased protection for you and our staff and tell our dentists if the bone in your jaw is dense and healthy enough to receive an implant.
They will explain the process, answer your questions, and schedule you for your dental implant placement.
1) Dental Implant Placement
The first step is numbing the area so that you remain comfortable during implant placement.
Next, Dr. Burns or Dr. Caso expertly places your implant in the precise position determined by your green CBCT scan. This ensures a straightforward, efficient procedure and optimal long-term results for your implant.
Placing a single implant takes about an hour; if you are getting multiple implants, it will take a little longer. We'll let you know what to expect at your planning appointment!
2) Implant Healing or "Osseointegration"
Once we place your implant, a healing process called osseointegration begins and takes between 3-6 months to complete. During this time, the dental implant post forms a secure bond with bone and tissue around it. The stability of the implant in your jaw is what makes them unique from any other tooth replacement!
3) Adding Your Implant Restoration
After healing, our dentists attach an abutment piece to the implant that connects the prosthetic tooth or teeth to the implant post. This final step restores your smile's aesthetics with an artificial tooth and allows you to chew fully on the tooth again.
For single tooth replacement, we would recommend a dental crown; for multiple missing teeth, a bridge or partial denture may be an option. If you have complete tooth loss in your upper or lower arch, we can place 4-6 implants in your jaw to support a complete denture.
The result is a beautiful set of replacement teeth, comfortable chewing function, and a fuller, more youthful facial appearance. If you practice excellent oral hygiene and stay current with six-month exams and cleanings, your implant could last a lifetime.
Could One or More Dental Implants Help You?
Dental implants have been used for 50 years and have an incredible 95 percent success rate. They've helped millions smile confidently again, and we'd love to see if they can help you too.
Please call Elizabeth Township Family Dentistry, and we'll help you schedule an appointment at your convenience.