No one appreciates having a full set of strong, healthy teeth quite like those who are missing one or more of their natural teeth. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a potentially ideal solution to missing teeth in the form of dental implants. At our San Antonio restorative dentistry practice, Incredible Smiles of Texas, Dr. Chris Reger provides patients who are missing one, several, or all of their natural teeth with exceptional implant dentistry. You, too, could once again eat, speak, and smile with ease and confidence.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small titanium posts that are delicately placed into the bone, where they act as artificial tooth roots. Because the human body does not recognize titanium as a foreign material, the jawbone grows around the implant as it heals, resulting in the implant becoming, in essence, part of the patient's natural anatomy. The healing process, called osseointegration, typically requires between three and six months.
Once the implant and jawbone have fused together, Dr. Chris Reger will uncover the top of the implant and attach an abutment, which will be used to secure the replacement tooth in place. After the gums have healed sufficiently, the tooth restoration will be secured to the implant, and the patient's restored smile will be complete.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
In order to be considered a good candidate for dental implants, you must:
- Be in generally good health and have no conditions that would make undergoing surgery dangerous
- Aside from missing teeth, have generally good oral health
- Have sufficient jawbone mass to support implants
- Be willing to commit to an excellent oral hygiene regimen post-surgery
In addition, the best candidates will be non-smokers or smokers who are willing to kick the habit, especially during the healing phase of implant surgery. Patients with certain conditions, may not be good candidates for implant dentistry. Patients who do not have enough bone to support a dental implant may still be good candidates with the use of bone grafting.
Benefits and Risks of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer a wealth of benefits compared to other methods of replacing missing teeth:
- They provide strong, secure support for tooth restorations without having to rely on surrounding natural teeth
- The titanium posts can last for decades; in most patients, they last a lifetime
- Because they replicate the missing tooth from root to crown, they halt the degradation of the gums and jawbone that occurs when teeth are lost
- Restorations are attached below the gum line, ensuring a remarkably natural appearance
- By filling the gaps created by missing teeth, they prevent adjacent teeth from drifting out of their optimal position
- They restore strength and integrity to the bite
- They look, feel, and function more like natural teeth than any other type of restoration
It should be noted that the placement of dental implants is a major surgery and that, as such, there are risks associated with the procedure. As with any surgery, infection and bleeding are possibilities; although rare, implant failure does occasionally occur. These risks are minimized when you entrust your implant surgery to a professional with Dr. Reger's skill and experience.
Learn More about Dental Implants
If you have any further questions about dental implants or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our restorative dentistry practice at your convenience.
Interested in learning more about Dental Implants San Antonio, visit our dental implant information website.