What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a permanent prosthetic tooth surgically placed in your jaw. The team provides various implant options, including a single crown to replace one tooth, a bridge to replace several teeth, and a fixed denture retained by implants to replace a full arch of missing teeth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants help prevent many health issues associated with missing teeth. For example, filling gaps left by missing teeth helps prevent your surrounding teeth from shifting and changing your bite — the way your teeth come together when you close your mouth.
Dental implants stimulate bone growth in your jaw, preventing it from shrinking or deteriorating. They are easy to care for as well. You should brush them twice a day and floss daily. It's also essential to have regular checkups and cleanings twice a year.
What is the dental implant process?
Dental implants consist of three parts: a titanium post, a dental restoration, and an abutment that connects the two. At your first appointment, your dentist at Nashville Smile Creations places the titanium post into your jawbone during a surgical procedure.
It typically takes three months for the post to bond with your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Then, while your jaw heals, they may put in place a temporary dental restoration.
Once the implant securely bonds with your jaw, you return to the office, and your dentist places the abutment along with a permanent restoration. The restoration is crafted using high-quality materials that mimic the function and appearance of natural teeth.
Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
Dental implants are an excellent option to replace missing teeth, especially if you:
Have one or more missing teeth
Have difficulty chewing or speaking due to one or more missing teeth
Have a collapsed-looking face due to jawbone loss caused by missing teeth
Find dentures uncomfortable
Are in good overall health
Do not smoke
Your jaw also needs to be strong enough to support a dental implant. So the team at Nashville Smile Creations uses X-rays to examine your jaw density during your initial consultation.
Bone loss doesn't exclude you from having dental implants, but you may need to have bone grafting procedures to strengthen your jaw before your dentist can place your implants.