Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth.
When you lose a tooth it usually is best for your oral health to have it replaced. Missing teeth compromise your “bite” and decrease your ability to chew properly. Missing a tooth, or several teeth, can also increase the burden on your remaining teeth. Depending on the location in your mouth, a missing tooth can also have a very negative impact on your smile, appearance and self-confidence. At the time of your appointment we will closely examine the area, explain all your replacement options, make recommendations, and most importantly, answer all your questions. It is extremely important to us that you are well informed and that you understand all your options.
If you are considering dental implants, we will examine your mouth and oral structures thoroughly. We will review your dental and medical history to ensure that dental implants are appropriate for you. And we will evaluate your jawbones with sophisticated x-rays to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants.
The best way to explain a dental implant is to compare it to a natural tooth. A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. The part of the tooth you see and eat with is called the crown. Beneath the crown is the root. The root of the tooth anchors the tooth into to the jawbone. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace a tooth, we first have to replace the root. A dental implant is essentially a new root. This specialized titanium root (implant) is fitted into a socket that we create in your jaw, replacing the lost root of your natural tooth.
Once an implant has been placed in the jaw, the bone around the implant will fuse, or integrate, to the implant. The process of integration typically takes from 2 to 6 months depending upon the quantity and quality of the jawbone. Once the implant has integrated (fused) to the jawbone, a support post, called a final abutment, will be placed into the implant itself. The abutment actually protrudes up through the gum tissue and serves as a post to which a new crown can be attached. If all your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support and greatly increase the stability, strength, and retention of your dentures.
Dental implant therapy can vary greatly from patient to patient. It certainly is not a “one size fits all” form of treatment. That is why expertise and judgment are so critical to implant success. Dr. Schwartz has the academic background and clinical experience to assure that your implant surgery is highly successful. He will present and discuss with you in great detail all your treatment options, the individual steps along the way, and the expected outcome. We will make sure that all your implant questions have been answered prior to proceeding with treatment. We promise to work closely with your restorative dentist and keep him/her informed and up-to-date.