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What is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants can solve many serious oral issues

What if you could have teeth that didn’t decay or discolor, be in alignment and color matched with bordering teeth and require no removal or special care? Dental implants are the answer.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is basically a titanium tooth root inserted into the jaw bone. It resembles a screw and provides a stable base for a replacement tooth. A protective cover will be placed over the implant while the bone and implant become fused together and the gum heals. Over the next few months excellent oral care and adherence to post procedure instructions can speed healing and prevent unnecessary complications. An abutment, a piece that connects the implant to the crown, can sometimes be placed at the same time as the implant. In other cases, the abutment is placed after the bone fuses with the implant. If done in two steps, another short healing period will be required before impressions can be made for the temporary crown.

There are many uses for an implant

If several teeth are missing in a row, implants can be placed at the same time. When bone has sufficiently fused with the titanium root and gum has healed, crowns can be made for all. The temporary crown(s) provides a “tooth shape” for the gum to naturally grow around. At this point a permanent crown (crowns don’t decay) is made to color match the surrounding teeth and sized to fit the gap.

Dental implants are considered a more desirable option by many when offered as an alternative to dentures or bridges. Dentures require removal and cleaning, and they may need adjustments to remain well fitting. Bridges require diligent cleaning with a special type of flosser and some types are removed daily. If convenience and the most natural look is important to you, dental implants should be considered. They are a stable and durable tooth replacement solution that can last a lifetime with good oral care and regular dental visits.

Aside from convenience and the most natural looking tooth replacement, implants preserve jaw structure and prevent wasting away of bone. As upper and lower teeth apply normal pressure during chewing, the bone structure is stimulated. This stimulation prevents jawbone deterioration. Natural teeth do this each time you chew. Bridges or dentures don’t “connect” firmly with the jawbone to allow stimulation.

Implants can be used as “anchor” teeth for a bridge. This is an alternative to altering natural teeth to attach one or both bridge sides.

If you are healthy enough to undergo a tooth extraction you could be a candidate for a dental implant. You must have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant firmly. Your dentist can discuss your personal health conditions with you and evaluate whether you would benefit from dental implants. A treatment plan and details of your procedure can be discussed at that time.

The professional, friendly staff at White Oak Family Dentistry in Garner, NC is waiting to schedule your implant consultation. Call 919.986.0151 or schedule an appointment online today at White Oak Family Dentistry.

Written by White Oak Family Dentistry

White Oak Family Dentistry provides top quality dental care to patients in Garner, Clayton, Raleigh and the surrounding area. We specialize in crowns, veneers, bridges and all types of dental hygiene and care with a true compassion for our patients' comfort and well being. Call us today at (919) 986-0151 to schedule and appointment.