Dentistry with a Difference
1507 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy
Maryville, Tennessee 37804
A dental implant is an artificial, titanium root that is anchored in your jawbone in order to support an artificial tooth. If you’ve lost a tooth, or teeth, perhaps in an accident, because of periodontal disease, or due to some other occurrence, a dental implant could be the perfect solution.
Barring a medical condition that might prevent you from being a good candidate for implants (cancer and diabetes, for example, can prevent implants from being effective), implants are almost always the better choice. In addition to problems with slipping, dentures and bridges do nothing to offset the bone loss in your jaw that is a natural consequence of losing your teeth. With implants, there is no bone loss. In fact, the underlying bone is strengthened by the implant. Your oral health is enhanced, and you’ll be able to eat anything you want without fear of embarrassment due to slipping or shifting in your dentures or bridgework.
Implant surgery is done under local anesthesia, so the procedure is pain-free. A titanium post is attached to the bone, where the original tooth used to be, and once the area around it heals (usually in a few months), an artificial tooth is created to replace the missing one.
An implant can be used to replace a single missing tooth, or multiple teeth. You might not need an implant for each missing tooth – when teeth are missing in sequence, often just a couple of implants can create a strong framework.
Depending on how many dental implants you require, and how long it takes for the site to heal, you can expect to have natural looking, fully functional teeth in between three and eight months.
Dental implants will never decay or require any type of dental treatment, and they’ll look exactly like your natural teeth. The procedure also has an extremely high success rate. There are, however, two things that can cause your dental implants to fail. The first is the same thing that causes natural teeth to become damaged – poor dental hygiene. Although your implants replace your broken or missing teeth, you still have your gums to consider, so you still have to make sure that you brush, floss, and have regular cleanings. Otherwise, you could develop periodontal disease, and that can lead to problems with your implants.
The other issue that could lead to implant failure is excessive biting pressure. If you grit or grind your teeth, then you could damage your implants, the same as you would your natural teeth. Often, people who are grinding their teeth don’t even realize that they’re doing it. In fact, many people grind their teeth in their sleep. If you think you might be a nighttime grinder, a night guard can protect your implants.
If you have missing or damaged teeth, dental implants can be a highly desirable alternative to dentures, bridgework, or simply living with gaps in your smile. If you would like to learn more about how dental implants can restore your smile and improve your dental health, call Curtiss Dentistry at 865-984-3211 for a consultation.