If you have any missing teeth, the best thing for your dental health is to have the gap filled as soon as possible. A dental bridge is the traditional way to replace lost teeth, apart from dentures and partials. However, Dr. Kar offers the other option of Dental Implants.
When you lose a tooth, it actually creates two gaps even though only one is visible. The invisible gap is in the jawbone where the lost tooth root used to be. When a gap is left in the teeth, remaining teeth tend to drift into it, getting misaligned. Similarly, when a gap is left in the jawbone, the gum tissue above it and bone tissue around it tend to shrink into it. This changes your gumline, creating an indentation where it shrinks into the gap. It can also change your jaw line and facial shape.
How Dental Implants Work
Once you and Dr. Kar have decided that dental implants are your best option, we will schedule you for your implant placement visit. An implant looks like a little screw. It is made of titanium because bone bonds well to titanium. After Dr. Kar positions your implant in the bone, there will be a wait for several months for healing. Recovery from this procedure is easy and you will be able to eat normally very soon after it.
The bone tissue will grow in around your dental implant and make it a part of the jawbone. It will make a sturdy anchor for your replacement tooth. When this bone growth, called osseointegration, is complete, Dr. Kar will perform a second procedure. He will place a small projection, called an abutment, on the top end of the implant. It will be partly below the gums and partly visible above them.
After about two weeks, you will have your final implant visit when Dr. Kar will attach your new tooth to the abutment. This step is quick and easy. Your dental health is now greatly improved, as your other teeth have a new neighbor to keep them correctly aligned and the jawbone is properly filled in.
Caring For Your Dental Implant
The implant itself, being inside the jawbone, requires no care. The replacement tooth needs the same daily care you give your other teeth – brushing and flossing to remove bacteria and prevent gum disease. Dr. Kar will want to see you periodically to check on your implant and make sure all is well.
Some Common Questions About Dental Implants
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed in your jaw and designed to hold a replacement tooth. Sometimes, the dental implant anchors a dental bridge or dentures. Dental implants are ideal for those in good dental health who have lost one or more teeth due to periodontal (gum) disease, injury, or another reason. The dental implant looks and feels natural and can restore your confidence in your smile. With good oral care, an implant can last a lifetime.
Do different types of dental implants exist?
Yes, there are two types of dental implants.
- Endosteal, or in the bone, implants are the most common type, using screws, posts and perhaps a dental crown to replace a missing tooth.
- Subperiosteal, or on the bone, dental implants are placed on top of the jaw and are most commonly used when the patient is unable to wear conventional dentures, or has minimal bone height.
I have missing teeth. Is the dental implant a good choice for me?
Whenever a tooth is permanently lost, the best solution is always to replace it as soon as possible, to prevent future misalignment of the teeth. A dental bridge may be an alternative option for you. Dentures and partial dentures also work for some. However, the dental implant is currently the only permanent method for replacing a missing tooth. Dental implants do not rely on other teeth for support and can last a lifetime with proper care. Of course, only a thorough consultation with Dr. Brian Kar can tell you for sure if the dental implant is your best option.
Am I a good candidate for a dental implant?
After your initial visit with Dr. Kar, he will determine if dental implants are your best option. If so, we will schedule your initial visit to begin the procedure.