A dental implant is a form of cosmetic dentistry used to replace missing teeth for a look and feel that is natural. They are surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments. The procedure involves attaching the implants to the jawbone and gum tissue to become a stable base for one or more custom artificial replacement teeth, called dental crowns. Candidates for dental implants need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support a secure implant. Consult with your dentist to see if you are eligible for dental implants.
Dental implants are frequently the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth because unlike dentures that rest on the gumline or the use of adjacent teeth as anchors, dental implants are long-term replacements that your cosmetic dentist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon surgically places in the jawbone.
Tooth loss can be an embarrassing
condition that most adults ages 20
and older have had to deal with.
Most people in this age bracket have
lost at least one permanent tooth to
an accident, gum disease, a failed
root canal, tooth decay, excessive
wear and tear, or congenital defects. Regardless of the reasons related to tooth loss, dental implants may provide a smile remedy with proven results.
Who Is a Candidate for Dental Implants?
With the exception of growing children, there may be a dental implant solution for you. Whether you need to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all your teeth, dental implants may be the solution for people of all ages. The following is a list of health conditions that can benefit from implants:
Gum Disease- Patients who have lost their teeth to periodontal (gum) disease have been successful recipients of dental implants.
Currently Wearing Dentures- Patients who wear dentures or removable bridges are eligible to have them replaced with dental implants. The implants can also be used to stabilize and secure dentures, making them much more comfortable.
Smokers- Smoking may lessen the success rate of implants although smokers have also been successful recipients of implants.
Bone Loss- Bone loss is a common occurrence for people who have lost teeth or had periodontal disease. Cosmetic dentists are trained and experienced in grafting bone to safely and permanently secure implants.
Dental Implant Procedure
New advancements in technology have
given choices for the types of implant
procedures that are offered. There is
the traditional implant and the mini
dental implant. The differences are
The beauty of dental implants is that
they are virtually indistinguishable from
other teeth. The science behind this lies
in the connection between the dental implant and the living bone. Implants can be placed in one sitting but require a period of osseointegration. Osseointegration is the process in which the bone fuses with the implant. In the first step, the dentist surgically places the implant in the jaw, then a healing process of anywhere from three to six months takes place for it to anchor and heal. Once the implant has anchored with the jawbone the dentist can then attach an extension, but first must uncover the implant under the healed gum tissue. After this has been completed the extension, called an abutment, is attached to the implant. When the abutment is in place, your dentist then will make a crown, which has a size, shape, color and fit that will blend with your other teeth. When the crown is completed it is attached to the implant abutment.
Dental implants are amongst some of the most successful procedures in dentistry. Success rates are lower for smokers because they face a higher risk of implant failure. Smokers will likely be asked by their dentist to give up smoking before the procedure to avoid the risk of failed osseointegration. On the plus side dental implants that are properly maintained can last upwards of 40 years.
“Every time I looked in the
mirror I saw uneven teeth
and a gap. I never smiled
in photos. I was so
self-conscious. But O’Kane
& Monssen balanced my
smile and filled in gaps.
You won’t believe it, but I
just got a promotion. My
boss said my positive,
can-do outlook made a
difference. I did the same
work as before; the only
real difference was I smile
all the time now. I’m
convinced that having
great teeth gave me more
confidence led to my
promotion. Thank you!“
– William P.