At Smith Dental in Hillsboro, OR, we do our best to preserve your natural teeth, but sometimes a tooth just can't be saved. If the root has died, decay has gotten too extensive for a restoration, or trauma has knocked the tooth loose or broken it, the tooth may have to be extracted.
A missing tooth can be devastating to your self-esteem. Everyone wants a nice, healthy smile full of pearly whites, and a gap can make you feel self-conscious when you smile, talk, or eat. It can even make you reluctant to do these things in front of other people. There are other concerns, as well. Over time, bone mass will be lost in an extraction site, and the surrounding teeth can shift, causing bite problems and other issues.
Getting a dental implant restoration is a usually a two-part process. A titanium implant is surgically placed into the jawbone and allowed to heal. During the healing period, a process called osseointegration takes place, fusing the implant to your bone to provide a sturdy foundation for dental restorations.
I’ve Already Started Losing Bone Mass. Are Implants Out of the Question?
Even if you don't currently have enough bone mass to support an implant, implants still may be an option! In many cases, we are able to supplement the missing bone structure with bone grafts, but this will add to your treatment time as the grafts must heal fully before the implant can be placed. You may also be fitted for a flipper, a temporary cosmetic appliance to restore your smile while the implant is allowed to complete osseointegration.
When Do I Get My New Teeth?
Once the implant site has completely healed, a process that usually takes three to six months, we can restore the implant with a beautiful, natural-looking crown. If you have multiple teeth missing, an implant bridge can allow you to replace a row of teeth with one structure, providing a more cost-effective restoration than separate implants for each individual missing tooth.
Why Are Dental Implants a Good Choice?
Dental implants are the closest thing current technology has to a natural tooth. A completed dental implant and crown or implant-supported bridge functions just like your regular teeth. There are no special care requirements as there are with dentures; just brush and floss regularly as instructed by your hygienist. You can eat, talk, and smile without worrying about gaps in your teeth.
With advances in dental technology, implants have a very high success rate and are the first choice in many situations where a restoration is needed or desired. Many insurance companies are even offering coverage for dental implants!
If you have one or more teeth missing, dental implants are an excellent option to restore the missing tooth with a strong, beautiful, long-lasting replacement. Call our office today to schedule a consultation and find out if you're a candidate for implants!