In the past, treatment options were limited to those who are missing one or more of their teeth, with their only choices being a partial denture or a fixed bridge. Now, we here at El Paso Modern Dentistry are proud to offer our patients the choice of getting a dental implant, allowing those who are suffering from missing teeth to have a permanent and attractive looking replacement for their lost tooth.
What are Dental ImplantsDental implants are growing in popularity, with a half a million people electing to get them every single year. They are a fantastic treatment option for many people who have lost a tooth, and many of our patients are good candidates for dental implants. They have a remarkably high success rate at 98 percent, which makes this a reliable replacement for missing teeth. Getting a dental implant is also quite safe and routine, which means that our patients can have a natural-looking dental prosthetic that can last them the rest of their life if they take good care of it.
A dental implant is made of three components, each which serves a specific purpose. The part of the implant that is surgically placed into the jawbone is a titanium screw. We use titanium in our implant posts because the body will accept this metal instead of rejecting it. The human body treats titanium like part of itself, with the jawbone building up over the titanium post. This is called osteointegration and helps make sure the implant is strong and study inside the mouth.
Once the screw heals inside the jawbone, we will then attach a connector piece called the abutment. The abutment allows us to attach the post to the restoration, which is the third and final piece of the implant. The restoration is the part of the implant that resembles the actual tooth and is also called a crown.
Getting a dental implant placed does require minor outpatient surgery. We start by placing a small incision into the gums, which allows us to access the jawbone where we will place the implant. Once the titanium post is securely placed inside the jawbone, we will then stitch the surgical site closed with sutures. While the procedure itself only takes an hour to an hour and a half at most, we do need to wait for the incision to heal fully before we can place the abutment and the restoration. This may take up to six months or longer, depending on the patient.
Who Can Get Them?Good candidates for dental implants are patients who do not have an active infection of the gums. If they do, we will need to treat it first. If the patient smokes, they will need to stop smoking to ensure the best outcome for the implant. Sufficient bone mass is also important, and patients who do not have enough bone in the jaw may need a bone graft before we can proceed with the implant procedure.
To learn more about dental implants, or to set up an appointment with us to determine if you are a good candidate for them, please give us here at El Paso Modern Dentistry a call at (915) 444-2660 today!