Posts for: September, 2018
Find out how our Elkhart, IN, family dentist can treat your tooth loss.
Are you an adult who is missing one or more teeth? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here in Elkhart, IN, our dentist Dr. Sangyoung Lee offers many options for you to fill those gaps in your smile and to improve your oral health. Of course, you may have heard about dental implants, or artificial tooth roots, and how they could replace your missing tooth or teeth for the rest of your life. Let’s tell you a little bit about how implants work.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is designed to replace the roots of your missing tooth. You might not realize this but tooth roots are very important not just for the health of the tooth but also for your jawbone. After all, every once of your tooth’s roots are stimulating the jawbone to produce new bone cells all the time. When you lose a tooth you lose that stimulation and the jawbone starts to deteriorate. The only way to prevent bone loss is to replace your missing tooth roots with a dental implant.
Of course, the implant itself doesn’t look anything like real tooth roots (as it’s actually a small post or screw often made from titanium), but it can take the place of tooth roots.
How does an implant work?
In order to replace the tooth roots, the implant will need to be placed into the jawbone right where the missing tooth used to be. In order to do this, our Elkhart restorative dentist will need to perform a minor procedure to open up the gums and make a small hole in the jawbone where the implant will go.
It can take several months for the jawbone and gums to fully heal, but as they do they will grow around and fuse together with the implant. This is due to the fact that the implant is made from a biocompatible metal, so the mouth treats the implant just like a natural part of the body. Once the jawbone and implant become one, you will have a lifelong foundation from which to support a false tooth.
After this fusion between the jawbone and implant are complete, we will need to place a structure called an abutment over the implant. An abutment’s sole purpose is to connect the implant (the part that lies under the gums and isn’t visible) with the dental crown (the part you will see). In order to do this, we will have to make a small incision in the gums to place the abutment on top of the implant. After several more weeks of healing, it’s now time to cement the crown over the abutment to finalize your treatment.
Missing several or all of your teeth? No problem. We can place several implants along the arches of the jaws to support a dental bridge or dentures.
If you are dealing with tooth loss in Elkhart, IN, and want to find out whether dental implants are the right option for replacing your missing teeth then call Elkhart Dental Center today to schedule a consultation.