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If you have a tooth or multiple teeth that are missing, a dental implant may be the right replacement choice for you. A dental implant is a prosthetic replacement for a missing tooth, which replaces both the root and crown of your missing tooth.
There are commonly three parts to a dental implant:
The implant itself is a small titanium post which is surgically inserted into the jaw bone and acts as the replacement for your missing tooth root.
Another small post is attached to the top of the implant and is called the abutment. This piece protrudes through the gums and acts as a stable anchor and connector between the implant and the third part – the crown.
The crown connects to the top of the implant and is custom-created to fit in your mouth like a natural tooth crown.
Whether you have lost a tooth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason, dental implants are a common solution chosen by patients to replace the tooth.
Most similar prosthetic to healthy, natural teeth – A dental implant fits into your mouth like any other natural tooth. In fact, many patients forget that one of their teeth isn’t a natural tooth. Unlike other replacement solutions, dental implants are anchored solidly into your mouth, allowing you to function as though your tooth was never missing.
A long-term solution for tooth replacement – While traditional methods, such as tooth-supported dental bridges, have a 7-10 year life on average, a dental implant can last a lifetime if properly placed and cared for. While it may need periodic adjustments, patients with dental implants do not need to worry about implant replacement once the implant has integrated with their jawbone.
Easier speaking, eating, and maintenance – Because dental implants are the most similar to your natural teeth, you can enjoy chewing and biting into your favorite foods without worrying that dentures may slip or fall out. This also makes it easier to speak clearly and maintain the health of your surrounding teeth—you can brush, floss, and care for them just like the rest of the teeth in your mouth!
Retain natural facial aesthetics – Worry that removable dentures or tooth-supported replacement teeth may fall out or loosen during your day-to-day activities is no longer a concern with dental implants. Dental implant patients can smile confidently, knowing that their teeth look and function like their natural healthy teeth would have. Dental implant patients can also avoid the common shrunken or sagging appearance that the face can take on when it is missing teeth.
Protects healthy teeth and bone – With dental implants, there is no need to grind down healthy teeth to cement a bridge or rely on the strength of adjacent teeth to carry the burden of a bridge. They also keep adjacent teeth from shifting, a common occurrence when a tooth is missing for an extended period of time. In addition, dental implants help to prevent jaw bone deterioration that commonly occurs when teeth are lost. They also help to promote continuous bone growth in younger patients who are still developing.
If you have lost a tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants may be a great choice for you. If you are considering dental implants, several factors will be taken into account. A few factors that can have an adverse effect on a positive outcome include:
You smoke on a regular basis
You have uncontrolled and/or extensive existing medical conditions
You have a history of ongoing severe periodontal disease
You are under the age of 18 (due to the potential for additional jaw growth)
You have been missing teeth for a long time, which may have resulted in significant resorption of the bone planned for an implant
During your initial consultation, the doctors at Northeast Surgical Specialists will perform a thorough oral exam and review of your medical and dental history. You may also receive additional radiographs, 3-D scanning, or CT scanning in order to create an effective treatment plan for implant placement.
Dental implant placement traditionally involves one main surgical procedure, and the length of time that the procedure may take varies based on each patient’s individual needs. In the surgical procedure, the implant is placed into the jaw. The patient waits about three to six months for the implant to integrate with the bone. In the second procedure, the abutment is screwed into the top of the implant and the custom crown is placed on top of the abutment by your dentist. If you are in need of a bone grafting procedure to increase the height and width of your jaw, this will often occur and heal prior to implant placement. Sometimes “gum tissue” grafting may also be required and can be done at any point within the healing process. This type of grafting is infrequently needed.
The surgical team at Northeast Surgical Specialists have extensive experience and training in dental implant placement and are happy to share their expertise with you. If you think that you may be a candidate for a dental implant and want to learn more about the procedure, we encourage you to visit our office for an initial consultation.
Northeast Surgical Specialists maintains two office locations in Queensbury & Saratoga Springs, NY, and offers various oral surgical procedures and treatments, including the placement of dental implants. Drs. Condry and Kelling service all of Saratoga and Warren Counties, including Queensbury, Saratoga, Glens Falls, Ballston Spa, Malta, South Glens Falls, Greenwich, Hudson Falls, Granville, Corinth, Lake George, Warrensbury, Greenfield Center, Galway, Burnt Hills, Ballston Lake, Wilton, Clifton Park, Fort Ann, Gansevoort, Mechanicville, Ticonderoga, Cambridge, Milton, Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Gloversville, Schroon Lake, and Hoosick Falls.
If you just want to ask a few questions, give us a call. You can find all the ways to contact us here. We look forward to hearing from you.