Some prosthetic tooth replacements, such as conventional fixed dental bridges and dentures, will lose their fit over time as the jawbone erodes and its shape changes. Dental implants are more stable over time, however, because the bone fuses with them after the oral surgeon places them in the jaw. That osseointegration process leaves a dental implant as a permanent part of the jaw’s structure and allows it to prevent the jawbone atrophy that typically occurs after tooth loss.
Essentially, dental implants are structurally similar to the roots of biological teeth. The small titanium cylinders don’t merely support a prosthetic crown, bridge or denture following the implant placement dental surgery, however. They also anchor the jawbone, making it more stable over time and giving the appliance a more consistent fit. Dental implants typically eliminate the need for appliances to be repeatedly refitted or even replaced.
In order for patients to get the expected longevity from their dental implants, they must be good candidates for dental implant placement. Your oral surgeon will evaluate your bone structure at the implant site to make sure that you have sufficient bone material to support osseointegration. If you have already experienced some bone loss at the implant site, you may need to first undergo a type of dental surgery known as a bone graft in order to supplement the bone at the site. This will greatly improve your chances of long-term dental implant success.
Although dental implants do require dental surgery, the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and patients can get back to most aspects of their normal routine within a few days. You may need to hold off on vigorous exercise and eating certain foods for a little longer to make sure that you heal properly from the procedure.
If you want to have only one appliance to replace your missing tooth or teeth and avoid numerous re-fittings, you should look into dental implants as a treatment solution. Schedule an evaluation with our team at Stonebriar Facial & Oral Surgery so that we can give you more detailed information about this intervention.