Nashville Dental ImplantsDespite our best efforts, sometimes a tooth can not be saved. Whether it's cavities, gum disease, a broken tooth, or trauma, from time to time teeth may need to be extracted. Unfortunately, it happens more often than you might think.
The question then is how to replace this missing tooth. Dental implants are often one of the best ways to replace a missing tooth or teeth.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are small titanium posts that replace the root portion of a tooth. An anchor abutment is attached to the implant, and this sticks out of the gum tissue. The implant and the abutment are used to support a dental crown.
Advantages of dental implants
- Dental implants are the most natural feeling way to replace a missing tooth. The stability of dental implants makes chewing and speaking feel almost identical to your natural teeth.
- Dental implants do not require treatment of adjacent teeth. Other tooth replacement options such as bridges and partial often require treating teeth adjacent to the missing tooth in order to support a replacement tooth. Dental implants do not require this treatment of neighboring teeth, and are stand alone tooth replacements.
- Since dental implants are placed in the jaw bone, chewing function on the implant will stimulate the jaw bone, which helps prevent bone loss.
- Dental implants can be used to help retain other dental work like dentures and partials, or an implant supported bridge.
- The success rate for dental implants is well above 95%, and since they are made of titanium, they are not susceptible to cavities.
Dental implant procedure
The dental implant procedure begins with a consultation with your dentist. Dr. McGee will often discuss a tooth that has a poor prognosis or a tooth that is already missing with a patient. options for tooth replacement are discussed, and if a dental implant is the treatment of choice, then Dr. McGee will make plans for the placement of the dental implant. Dr. McGee works with several skilled dental surgeons in the Nashville area, and our team will work with these surgeons to make sure that you receive the best care.
Your dental implant may be placed by the dental surgeon the same day as your tooth is extracted. This is called an immediate implant.
After the dental implant is placed, a period of a few months is required for the jaw bone to grown around the implant. Once your dental surgeon evaluates the implant and determines that it is stable, you will return to your dentist to have a crown placed on the implant anchor abutment. Once the crown has been placed, you can resume normal chewing function.
Dental implant maintenance
As with all dental work, proper care and maintenance is required for long term success. As mentioned earlier, dental implants are made of titanium and are not susceptible to cavities. They are, however, susceptible to gum disease. Proper oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing will help keep the implant free of any gum disease or infection. Additionally, it is recommended that you visit you dentist on your regular cleaning and checkup schedule so that your implant can be evaluated.