Tooth loss can happen to anyone, not just seniors. If you’re currently living with missing teeth, consider having them replaced with implant surgery. Dental implants look, feel and function more like natural teeth than any other restorative treatment. You’ll be able to smile with confidence, eat comfortably and speak clearly. You can learn more about the dental implant procedure from your Manakin-Sabot, Virginia dentist, Dr. Peter R. Murchie, at Goochland Dentistry.
Implants are prosthetic teeth that take the place of missing natural teeth. They’re composed of a titanium rod (implant), a metal abutment and a dental crown, usually made of porcelain, which acts as your new tooth. The titanium rod is implanted into your jaw through oral surgery and becomes a permanent part of your bone system. For this to be possible, you must have healthy gums and sufficient jawbone density to sustain the implant in place.
When teeth go missing, your jawbone begins to deteriorate due to lack of stimulation from lost tooth roots. If you have bone loss, Dr. Murchie may recommend bone grafting to reinforce your jaw before having implant surgery. Bone grafting entails taking bone from a different part of your body and grafting it to your jaw to create a strong base for placing an implant. You’ll need to wait several weeks for the grafting procedure to heal before proceeding with your implant surgery.
Single implants replace individual missing teeth, with each tooth having its own rod and crown to complete the procedure. Your surgery starts with numbing the area where the implant will be placed, so you feel no discomfort during your treatment. Dr. Murchie will then drill into the gap left by your missing tooth to plant the titanium rod that will act like your new tooth root.
Over the next 12 weeks, this rod, aka implant, will fuse with your jaw and become a permanent part of your bone system. Once the implant is firmly in place, Dr. Murchie will attach a metal abutment on top to support a dental crown which will become your new tooth. The only visible part of your implant is the porcelain crown, which will be customized to blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth.
Implants can also be used to replace three or more missing teeth in a row, an entire arch of teeth or all of your teeth if needed. We recommend a custom-fitted implant-supported bridge for multiple missing teeth in a row. We offer all-on-four or all-on-six implant-supported dentures to replace an entire arch or all your teeth. These prosthetics will have the stability of implants and the esthetic appeal of natural-looking teeth.
Modern dental technology has made implants a safe and effective restorative treatment with a 98% success rate for positive results.