A dental implant is a permanent restorative dental appliance that is used to replace missing or failed teeth. It is made of titanium and surgically implanted into the jaw where it will replace the tooth in both form and function. A dental implant and crown is a highly permanent solution to tooth loss, that will last you for the rest of your life, if you take good care of it.
Reasons for Dental Implants
When facing tooth loss it is critical that you do everything you can to replace the tooth. Often people mistakenly believe that having a tooth extracted and not replaced provides the cheapest option when facing tooth loss. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Tooth Loss and how it can Affect You
When a tooth is lost, a number of detrimental events begin to take place in the mouth that inevitably lead to more tooth loss and a general degradation of oral health.
Teeth are not statically set in their place in the jaw. They can, and do wander a bit and are primarily kept in place by their neighbors. When a tooth is lost, the neighboring teeth can shift, leading to a change in the way your bite fits together. When your bite changes you will usually experience jaw pain and occasionally teeth chipping or cracking. Bone loss in your jaw will follow the loss of a tooth and eventually lead to further tooth loss.
As you can see, not replacing a tooth can end up costing much more in the long run. Which is why we are proud to offer dental implants at our
Medford, OR location!
The Dental Implant Procedure
Implant Site Preparation
The first step in placing a dental implant is making an incision in the gum where the implant will be. From this incision, we will access the bone in the jaw and use a special drill to prepare the bone to receive the implant.
Placing the Implant
Once the site is ready, we can place the implant and suture the gums closed on either side of it. At this point, the site must be allowed to heal for four to six months. During this time the bone will integrate with the titanium post. Titanium is a biocompatible metal that is easily accepted by the tissues in the body. This process is called osseointegration.
While we leave the implant to heal for many months, we will have you return in about two weeks to have the sutures removed.
Attaching the Abutment
Once the implant has fully healed it will be time to come back into our office for the final time. The first thing we will do during this final appointment is attach the abutment to the implant. The abutment is simply an appliance that the attaches the crown to the implant.
Placing the Crown
The crown is a replica of your tooth that we have matched in color, shape, and size to your natural tooth. We attach the crown to the top of the abutment using permanent dental cement.
Dental implants require a minimum amount of healthy bone to be present in order to be successful. If you have experienced significant bone loss, we will likely need to place a bone graft and allow it to integrate into your jaw.
Dental implants do not tend to succeed in the mouths of smokers. If you are looking to have a dental implant placed, we recommend making a concerted effort to quit smoking for good.
Please call our office today at (541) 773-5441 to schedule an appointment for your no-obligation consultation. Our continued goal is the health and beauty of your smile!