That tooth with multiple fillings has finally failed, and your dentist must extract it. What should you do to restore your smile? After all, a smile gap is unattractive, and it compromises the neighboring teeth, jaw bone and gum tissue. What's your best solution for filling that space? Consider a dental implant from Dr. Richard Oppenlander. An excellent choice for tooth replacement, dental implants in Portage, MI, are lifelike in appearance, function and in preserving the integrity of your gums and bone structure. How does one prosthetic accomplish all that? Read on, and learn the details on today's premiere artificial tooth.
What happens with tooth loss?
You have an embarrassing smile gap for one thing. Beyond that, though, are more hidden and destructive consequences:
- Gum recession
- Loss of jaw bone density
- Adjacent teeth that drift to fill the empty socket
- Grinding down of teeth used to support fixed bridgework or a partial denture
So tooth replacement is very important, and dental implants from your Portage dentist can provide a prosthetic that is so lifelike that you'll bite, chew and smile just as though nothing ever happened.
How do dental implants work?
Each implant is made of a titanium metal root (resembling a screw), an extension post and a realistic porcelain crown to finish off the restoration. Implants may be placed singly or in multiples as anchorage for bridges or dentures.
To qualify for an implant or implants, your jaw bone must be adequately sized and strong to support the device. Your oral health should be good--and your overall health, too. Dr. Oppenlander also encourages people to stop smoking, as tobacco endangers implant retention, and to practice disciplined oral hygiene at home to keep implant sites clean.
After a complete oral exam and X-rays to determine if you qualify, your implant procedure begins with a locally-injected anesthetic. Dr. Oppenlander creates a small pilot hole in your jaw bone and then screws the implant in place. After closing the site, he will send you home for an important period of healing.
Adequate healing time is critical to implant success and retention. As the site heals, the jaw bone bonds to the titanium device through what dentists call osseointegration. After initial healing, osseointegration continues as the patient exerts pressure on the new "root" by biting and chewing. The National Center for Biotechnology Information says that this bone-building process is key to implant success as is keeping the site free of plaque, tartar and bacteria.
Come in for a consultation in Portage, MI
Dental implants could restore your smile to full function and appearance. Please contact Dr. Oppenlander today for more information. Call his office at (269) 327-9332.