Your missing tooth does not have to be a permanent problem.
You’ve lost a tooth! What now? Talk with Dr. Patel before you make any hasty decisions. Whether you are missing one tooth or many teeth, dental implants help you regain much of the natural feel and function of your natural teeth. If you are considering dentures, one option is to get overdentures that are held in place with dental implants. Many patients have had overdentures with dental implants that have lasted for more than 20 years!
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants consist of a root form and a crown. The root form is surgically inserted into the jaw bone at the site of the missing tooth, and then the crown is permanently affixed to it.
This short explanation and diagram may make it sound as if this is a simple procedure, but there are many considerations in play here. (Click here for a more detailed explanation of the dental implant procedure.)
The jaw bone at the site of the lost tooth must be substantial and healthy enough to support the root form. If you lost the tooth some time ago, you may first have to have a bone graft at the site of the lost tooth. When you lose a tooth, your body reabsorbs the bone at that location. If you have lost most or all of your teeth, the re-absorption of your jaw bones can be so severe that you can suffer facial collapse. A dental implant halts that process of re-absorption, and so is an excellent choice to replace a lost tooth or teeth.
Dr. Patel will first perform a thorough examination with x-rays to determine the most sensible approach to treat your missing tooth. If you are a candidate for dental implants, he will then refer you to an expert surgical specialist who will place the implant post. After a healing period of three to six months, Dr. Patel will attach a fixture known as an abutment to the root structure. While some dentists use stock abutments to cut costs, Dr. Patel almost always uses custom fixtures that can be tailored to fit you precisely, promoting a healthier environment for your gums and a more natural appearance. Your custom-crafted crown will then be placed over the abutment, and the restoration will be complete.
Considering All the Options
There are circumstances where a dental implant is not the best solution to address a missing tooth. Dr. Patel will consider many factors when offering his opinions and advice, including your budget. Sometimes, if the surrounding teeth need crowns, and you are only missing a single tooth, a dental bridge can be a perfectly acceptable and economical way to replace a missing tooth. Dr. Patel will give you honest, educated advice when you are trying to decide on a dental implant vs. dental bridge.
Choosing a surgical treatment option is a big decision. If you have additional questions before you’re ready to commit to a paid exam, call our office to arrange a complimentary consultation. During this brief appointment, you can visit our office, meet the staff, and spend a few minutes with Dr. Patel to ask about dental implants.