It goes without saying that missing teeth can have a huge impact on your life. From feeling embarrassed about the gaps in your smile to being forced to avoid certain foods because they’re too difficult to chew, going without teeth is a huge hassle!
The good news is that we can help. We’ve provided dental implants in Tomball for many years and have seen firsthand the positive effects this procedure can have on our patients’ lives. Implants don’t only look and feel better than other tooth replacement options, they last longer, too. Keep reading to learn more!
What Are Dental Implants?
First, it’s helpful to briefly cover the basic anatomy of a tooth. Every tooth has two main parts: the root and the crown (the white portion above the gumline that you think of as a tooth).
People think of dental implants as the entire tooth, but in fact, an implant is only a titanium post that acts as a replacement root. Once the implant phase has been done, a crown is attached to complete the restoration.
The fact that dental implants replace the root is why they offer such superior comfort, function and appearance. Other options such as dentures only replace the crown of the teeth and therefore simply can’t offer the same strength and stability.
What Is the Procedure Like?
Here are the basic steps involved in getting an implant:
- The first step is a small surgery to place the titanium post in the jaw. This generally only takes a couple of hours and is much easier than most people anticipate. In fact, many patients report that it’s no more difficult than getting a filing!
- Next, the implant is given 3-6 months to integrate, or fuse, with the surrounding jawbone.
- Finally, the crown is made and attached to the implant. The crown will be matched in color and shape to your existing teeth, so it will look and feel completely natural.
Remember, while the process takes longer than other options, the final result also lasts much longer!
Will They Work For You?
Although the best way to determine whether you’re a good candidate for implants is to schedule a consultation, your dentist will be looking at a couple of things. First, they’ll want to know if you have enough bone mass in your jaw to support the implant.
Second, the success rate for smokers is lower because they don’t heal as well, which can prevent the implant from integrating with the jaw. For non-smokers, the success rate is 98-99%.
Finally, you’ll be glad to know that implants work for a wide variety of situations. Whether you’re missing 1-3 teeth or all the teeth on the upper or lower arch, implants can be customized for your unique circumstances.
With basic care and maintenance, implants can last many decades, if not a lifetime. They look and feel so great that you may forget you ever lost any teeth to begin with!
About the Author
Dr. James Geer has over 40 years of experience in the dental field and has established lifelong relationships with many of his patients. He’s used dental implants to restore not only the smiles but also the confidence of many of his patients with missing teeth. If you have any questions, he can be reached via his website or at (281) 357-4337.