One of the most exciting advances in dentistry has been the use of dental implants. Teeth that have been lost can be replaced with a new implant that fuses strongly with the bone.
"Are Dental Implants For Me?"
If you have missing teeth, failing teeth or dentures that just don't work, the answer could be a resounding "YES".
If you are tired of social embarrassment, not getting noticed by that special someone or looking older than you are, the answer could be a resounding "YES".
If you want to rekindle romance, chew comfortably and look 10 years younger, the answer could be a resounding "YES".
If you want to have a bright, white, healthy smile, preserve your existing teeth and live a longer, healthier, happier life the answer could be a dental implant.
A dental implant is a biocompatible, man-made substitute to replace missing tooth roots. It is usually made of a space-age alloy of titanium. Implants come in various shapes and sizes to fit the situation. Most are cylinders placed into bone and allowed to heal undisturbed while bone heals around them, locking them in like an anchor. After a few months, the implants are used as a foundation for replacing the missing teeth. Dental implants restore lost chewing ability, improve appearance, end embarrassment, and give real self-confidence to patients who need them. They are a real breakthrough.
We no longer have to cut down healthy teeth in order to replace a missing tooth with a bridge. The new implant tooth acts and feels like it's real.
In addition, if many teeth have been lost and the patient has a partial or denture, the addition of implants will stabilize and strengthen the ability to chew. As few as two implants can make an enormous difference in chewing power and one's confidence that the teeth will not loosen.
The steps of the implant procedure itself are quite simple.
If there is a damaged tooth, it must be painlessly removed.
The actual “implant”, a small grooved or threaded titanium post is planted into your actual jawbone. Your body immediately begins to “bond” the titanium post into place with bone. This is a very thorough process and may take from three to six months before the next step can begin. Your body does not reject these new materials but ties them in with great strength as if they were a natural part of your own body.
Once the titanium implant is tightly in place, an attachment is attached to the titanium implant and your new tooth is attached to this with one of the world's most secure and space age adhesives. Bonding is virtually forever!
You have a new tooth. You are the only one who knows it's man-made - and implants are so comfortable you'll soon forget which one it is.
Dr.'s Radeka & Hodges are members of the South Carolina Academy of Implant Studies in Columbia, a group dedicated to learning the most up to date techniques and materials for successful implant restorations.