Many options exist for filling a gap in your smile caused by a missing tooth. One option that is gaining popularity is dental implant surgery. Dental implant surgery occurs when the dentist places a titanium screw directly into the jawbone. The metal piece then fuses with your jawbone. Next, your mouth is given time to heal and after several weeks or months, the dentist places an abutment around the implant and then attaches a new artificial tooth.
Because the procedure includes healing time, it can take three to nine months from start to finish. However, patients can be kept comfortable during each procedure with the use of anesthesia and sedation. Additionally, temporary partials, or dentures, can be used during the healing and treatment process to fill in the gap of the missing tooth. This partial is usually for appearance only and will be removed to clean and for sleep.
After the implant has healed and you’re ready to have the artificial tooth placed, you and your dentist can choose between a removable or a fixed implant prosthesis. The removable artificial tooth is like a typical denture. It contains artificial teeth that are secured to a wire frame which snaps into place. It can be removed easily and is a good choice for patients who have to replace several missing teeth in the lower jaw. It is usually more affordable than multiple individual implants, but is more secure than a typical denture.
If a patient has only one tooth to replace or isn’t concerned about cost, a fixed implant prosthesis can be used. In this case, the artificial tooth is cemented permanently onto the abutment. It will not be able to be removed and will function exactly like the original tooth.
Dr. Terry Vines of Pure Gold Professionals in Dentistry uses dental implants for patients in Redlands, CA, who have one, or several, missing teeth, have reached full growth in their jawbone, and have enough jawbone to ensure that implants can be secured or will withstand a bone graft. Additionally, patients who are considering implant surgery must have healthy oral tissue and not have any health conditions that could keep the bone from healing properly.
If you have gaps in your smile that you’d like to have fixed, call Dr. Terry Vines at Pure Gold Professionals in Dentistry today.