Injury, disease, congenital defects, joint and sleep disorders, neglect, and years of day-to-day wear can all cause significant damage and require the complete or partial removal of our teeth. Prosthodontics is a subspecialty of dentistry that focuses on the restoration and replacement of missing or damaged teeth and other oral tissues to maintain health, function and aesthetics. Stained, chipped, worn, broken or missing teeth can be restored to their natural appearance so you can continue to enjoy a beautiful smile. Replacements include crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays, dental implants, and complete and removable partial dentures.
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Dental implants provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. No more need to deal with uncomfortable dentures or bridges—with permanent dental implants, a person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat and smile with effortless confidence.
Dental implants can support replacements for one tooth, several teeth, or even all of the teeth. Dental implants deliver outstanding results in both appearance and function of the new teeth. Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
How do dental implants work?
The dental implants themselves are titanium cylinders that are surgically implanted in the jawbone where the missing teeth were rooted. Over time, the titanium bonds with the bone, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.
Small posts are then attached to the implant. Protruding through the gums, these posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
How long does the dental implantation process take?
Dental implants are placed during several appointments over many months. For example, the titanium anchors need at least three to six months to heal. During this time, you will be fitted with dentures or individual false teeth. Once the implants have healed, natural-looking crowns can be placed on the posts.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
The number-one requirement for dental implants is sufficient, strong bone in the area beneath the missing teeth. Without enough bone, the implants will not be able to take hold in the jaw. If you do not have the bone necessary for dental implants, your dentist may recommend bone grafting—removing bone from elsewhere in the mouth or from the hip, or using artificial bone, and placing it in the jaw until it grows into the natural bone—as a first step in the dental implant process.
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