Dental implants: benefits and process explained by Columbia, MO dentist
There are many reasons you may need to replace a tooth: decay and disease, traumatic injuries, and even genetics can all play a role in missing teeth. Fortunately, tooth replacement options have come a long way in the past few decades, and patients have more choices than ever before. At the dental practice of Chase Patton, DDS, we work closely with patients in the Columbia, MO area to identify the best tooth-replacement option for their needs. Many patients are interested in hearing about dental implants, including the process for getting them placed and why they are considered the “gold standard” in tooth replacement. Read on to learn more!
Benefits of dental implants
Tooth loss affects more than just the tooth that is missing. It can negatively impact your confidence in your smile, cause your other teeth to shift in your mouth, lead to bone deterioration, and even makes your overall face look older due to a sunken-in appearance in your cheeks. With dental implants, you can erase all of these issues and restore the beautiful, functional smile you deserve.
Many dental implants’ benefits are due to a process called osseointegration. After the implant is surgically placed in the jawbone, it fuses with the bone, where it very closely mimics a natural tooth root function. Because they merge with the jawbone to form one sturdy unit, implants:
- They are the tooth replacement choice that works the most like a natural tooth
- They are incredibly stable and durable and do not require any dietary restrictions like dentures
- Prevent bone deterioration because it receives adequate stimulation from the implant while you are chewing
- Help fill in your cheeks and prevent the hollowed-out look
- It can last a lifetime with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits
The dental implant process
The primary step in getting a dental implant placed is to work with your dentist to decide if a dental implant is best for you. Dr. Patton will refer you to an oral surgeon who will perform the actual implant surgery, which takes around three to six months to heal. After your implant is healed, Dr. Patton will finish the dental implant process in his office. That includes:
- Taking dental impressions: Because the implant is located underneath the gum tissue, taking dental impressions is a multi-step process. First, we will remove the healing abutment from the implant, which is typically performed with a local anesthetic. Then, we place an impression post and take your dental crown impressions, and finally, we remove the impression post and replace the healing abutment. At this point, your dental images are sent to the laboratory so that a beautiful, natural-looking dental crown can be fabricated based on our precise specifications.
- Dental crown placement: After receiving your crown, you will come back into the office. We will replace the healing abutment with the permanent abutment used to secure your dental crown onto the implant. Then, we will try on the crown and, after making any minor adjustments, will bond it permanently into place.
At the dental office of Chase Patton, DDS, we are committed to helping restore the function, beauty, and health of your smile after tooth loss. To learn more about dental implants and whether they are suitable for you, call our Columbia, MO office today at (573) 875-7040.