By age 44, nearly 69 percent of adults in the United States have lost at least one tooth, and by 74,
over a quarter of American adults have lost all of their teeth. Here at Vanguard Dental, a popular
option for restoring missing teeth is dental implants; they are aesthetically pleasing and help preserve
patients' oral health.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small post made of titanium, which is placed in the jawbone. Because titanium is a biocompatible material, it will fuse to jawbone; this is called osseointegration. This can take between three and six months to occur, but once complete, the implant is as strong as a natural tooth root. They are often referred to as an artificial tooth root.
The implant procedure
The procedure for placing a dental implant is very simple; most patients only require local anesthetic, although we do have sedation available. Most of our patients compare the mild discomfort they may experience after the procedure with that of having a tooth extracted.
Once osseointegration is accomplished, the patient will return to our office to complete the restoration process. Implants can be used for a variety of restoration options. When a single tooth is missing, one implant can be placed and topped with a dental crown. In cases where a patient is missing several teeth in a row, a pair of implants can be placed and topped with a dental bridge. The difference in an implant supported bridge and a traditional fixed bridge is that existing healthy teeth will not have to be reshaped, as they would for a traditional bridge. The procedure for completing a restoration with a crown or bridge is similar; an abutment is attached to the implant and then impressions will be taken so the permanent restoration can be fabricated. In the meantime, a temporary bridge or crown will be placed. In about two weeks, we receive the permanent restoration from the dental lab and the patient returns for placement, completing the implant process. With routine checkups, cleanings and good oral hygiene a dental implant can last up to a lifetime.
If you are missing a tooth, call Vanguard Dental and schedule a consultation with Dr. Kanorwalla in our Springfield office to find out if a dental implant is the perfect restoration option for you. Our Wilbraham, Hampden and Ludlow patients find our location very convenient.
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