When our Lakewood patients lose permanent teeth due to accident, injury, disease or extraction, dental implants are often a secure, functional replacement option.
Dental implants are superior to other choices because they restore comfort and appearance, yet remain functional for the long run. What’s more, they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, so we don’t have to touch otherwise healthy teeth.
Since they are permanently anchored in the jawbone, implants’ stability and permanence restore your ability to speak and eat normally, supply support to facial musculature, and eliminate the inconveniences and discomforts of ill-fitting dentures. Plus, after years of use, they have over a 98% proven success rate in appropriately chosen cases.
So what’s a dental implant?
A dental implant is simply a small titanium post that acts like a man-made tooth root. As the bone bonds to the post, it forms a secure foundation on which your restoration, or artificial teeth, are then attached .
The number of teeth you’re missing will determine the best kind of restoration for your case.
One or two missing teeth indicates a simple crown restoration; two or more missing teeth require permanent fixed bridgework; a complete replacement of upper or lower teeth requires choosing between a removable vs. a fixed denture, which in turn determines how many implants per jaw are required.
At Mile High Smiles, we begin with a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical and dental history to make sure you are a good candidate for dental implants. We will do a full clinical examination of the entire mouth and missing tooth area. The clinical exam should also include specific X-rays.
The tooth structure has two main sections, the root and the crown. The root is the section of the tooth that is below the gumline. A dental implant acts as the replacement for the root and acts as an anchor in the jawbone.
The first step of the procedure is placement of the implant. Under regular dental anesthetic the implant is placed into the jaw. There is not significant discomfort with this procedure and most of our patients go on to work the following day with only minor analgesics. This process can take from 1-3 hours depending on the number of implants being placed.
This implant will be left in place for approximately 2 to 4 months. During this time, the bone will grow around the implant in a process called osseointegration.
Once it’s fully healed, the patient returns to the Lakewood office and the final step in the process is to attach an abutment to the implant, then place a crown that will restore your smile and chewing ability.