Are you one of the millions of people who are missing one or more adult teeth? If you are, did you know that you can possibly replace your teeth with dental implants? When a tooth is removed, a lot of things can happen. The bone in that area shrinks over time. Also, teeth around that missing tooth will shift and tilt, possibly changing the way your teeth come together. Let's quickly define the pieces and parts that make up a dental implant.
- Dental Implant – A cylindrical and/or tapered post, usually made of titanium, that serves as a substitute for the tooth root
- Abutment – A connector, placed on, or built into, the top of the dental implant, to connect the implant to the replacement tooth or teeth
- Crown – A replacement tooth, custom made to match your natural teeth
A dental implant goes into the bone, just like the root of a tooth, and prevents the bone from shrinking and other teeth from shifting. Getting a dental implant placed is a minor procedure, and most patients have very little discomfort afterward. After the implant is placed and the area has healed, Dr. Woodruff will place an abutment and crown on the implant to finish the process.
The Process as a Whole
Every patient is different, and every site is different, but the average case takes 5-6 months from start to finish. Although it may feel like a lengthy process, dental implants are a great way to replace a missing tooth... or multiple teeth! Dr. Woodruff recommends them because the closest you can get to healthy, natural teeth. They allow you to confidently eat, smile, laugh, talk, play and enjoy all of your regular activities of everyday life without worrying about your teeth. The bone is maintained and implants are easy to clean around.
Dental implants are also a great option if you have a denture or pesky partial denture that doesn't stay in place. They can be used as anchors to help keep removable appliances where they're supposed to be.
Dr. Woodruff is experienced in both placing and restoring implants and we are proud to offer this sophisticated treatment at Cornelius Dentistry. If you think you may be a candidate for dental implants or would like to learn more, we'd love to help. Call us today for a free consultation!