In general, the best way to replace a missing tooth (or teeth) is with dental implants. Dental implants are replacements for your natural teeth. These root-shaped metallic devices are designed to allow your bone to fuse with their surface. The resulting bond allows strong tooth replacements (crowns, bridges, etc.) to be attached to the implant. You can have single or multiple teeth replaced in this way.
The implants we use have a special surface that encourages rapid and strong fusion of bone and implant. In most cases this allows us to replace missing teeth much more rapidly than previously possible.
What to Expect When Getting a Dental Implant
The sequence of therapy normally goes as follows:
- a planning stage
- placement of the implant(s)
- restoration of the implant(s)
- and maintenance.
The planning stage usually includes appropriate x-rays, clinical examinations, and consultations with a restorative dentist. Dr. Chapa will also discuss with you if there are unhealthy teeth that need to be removed first and whether a bone graft is needed to hold the implant.
Placement of Dental Implant
Placing the implant in optimal position is usually enhanced by a specially fabricated surgical guide. This guide is fabricated before the placement stage either by Dr. Chapa or a restorative dentist and increases the chances of optimal placement of the implant thereby increasing the probability of an esthetic outcome.
Restoration of Dental Implant
Restoration of your implants (the part that looks like a tooth, “crown”) will occur after the placement of your implant and the abutment, which is typically a few weeks or months post-surgery. The timing of the restoration is determined by multiple factors which include the size and stability of the implant(s) at the time of placement, the number of implants placed, the position of the implants, and multiple other factors. The final restoration of your implant(s) will be performed by a restorative dentist.
Few implants fail. Those that fail usually do so because of infection or excess forces. Once your implant(s) is restored periodic evaluation and possibly cleaning of that implant and its restoration are important.
Maintenance of Dental Implant
To reduce the probability of infection effective daily oral hygiene is important and we suggest the fabrication and wearing of a protective device worn while sleeping to reduce the amount of pressure on your implants.