Single Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants
San Antonio, TX
We can do more than replace a lost or missing tooth; we can restore the root and stabilize a tooth to remain permanently in place. Many patients are aware of using a dental bridge or partial, which allows false teeth to hover over the gums, but to have a tooth fully restored we rebuild from the bottom up. Our team at Excellent Dental Specialists can customize a plan that can provide you a replacement of healthy, functional teeth that do not rely on or damage neighboring teeth. With the surgical placement of dental implants, we can increase your look, the way you feel, and your oral health.
What is a dental implant?
Increasingly, patients and dentists are talking more about dental implants. The use of them is vastly progressing due to their high rate of success both in function and longevity. This is due to the implant approach. When a tooth is lost, the most complicated question is how to stabilize a new tooth.
Most replacement teeth are stabilized by hovering a false tooth that is connected to neighboring teeth either cemented in place or using clasps. Neither of these options is ideal, to cement the false tooth we have to permanently alter the neighboring tooth, and the use of clasps damage neighboring teeth as the clasp scratches and scrapes it. A dental implant does not rely on or use neighboring teeth.
A dental implant is a metal post that is secured directly to the jaw bone. Once your bone tissue has healed this post will serve as a new tooth root, allowing us to rebuild the tooth. A dental implant allows your new tooth to be secured, in place, without damaging or relying on neighboring teeth.
Dental implants are made of titanium which has been found to be the ideal metal for surgical procedures due to its biocompatibility, along with its strength. Titanium is used in surgical restorations by surgeons throughout the skeletal frame.
Implant Surgical Procedure
The surgical placement of your dental implant is quite simple, and patients feel no more discomfort or inconvenience than any other oral surgical procedure performed. The real work is in the planning. Our team takes specialized care in the pre-surgery planning of your implant; this may include taking the step to increase bone material through a bone graft procedure. Bone grafts may sound like an extreme process but are done quickly with little discomfort. The hard part about a bone graft is the time it takes to grow new bone; this can take months. Having sufficient bone to sink the implant into is vital to its success. With careful planning and preparatory work, implants have a superior level of success with often lifetime results.
With healthy, robust bone established, the surgical placement of your implant is fast, often taking less than an hour. The patient is first provided anesthetic to feel comfortable, most patients only require a local anesthetic, but we do have conscious sedation options available when needed. The tissue is then opened, revealing the bone beneath. We use a specialized drill to create the needed space in the bone, sink the implant into the bone, and the close up the tissue.
Soft gum tissue healing occurs quickly, often with just a few days. The hard bone tissue healing takes longer. During this time, patients are asked to take caution with their implant. They will need to eat soft foods and avoid the area to prevent the implant from being jarred. Once we have determined the implant is firmly in place, we can then customize a dental crown to fit over the implant. An implant post can serve to replace a single missing tooth or can be used in conjunction with other prosthetic pieces to replace teeth.