The best option when you've lost a tooth
Who wants to lose their teeth? Nobody! At least that’s what we hope! But did you know that losing one tooth can cause further tooth and bone loss? The teeth on either side of the missing one will shift to fill in the empty space, and the tooth above it might start coming out more than it should to try and make contact with an opposing surface. None of this is good news. At least now there’s a way that you can keep your mouth from going down this slippery slope when you’ve lost a tooth: dental implants!
What Does a Dental Implant Invovle?
To have an implant crown, you've got to have something hold the it in your jaw. This is what helps prevent the catastrophic bone loss that occurs when a tooth is lost and not replaced: the implant body. Basically this is the screw that the abutment (the appliance that supports the final tooth-replacing crown) will sit on top of. Don't let the hardware store talk fool you--dental implants have come a long way since they were first introduced. They are safer and longer-lasting than ever.
Implant consultations are always complimentary, and Dr. Gekht does some implant cases totally in-office, which saves you time and money! If your case requires the care and expertise of specialist, especially a periodontist, we'll refer you to an office we know and trust. Once you've had the implant body placed, we'll have to wait a few months before moving forward. We want to make sure that the implant has integrated with your bone and that you're all healed up. Once you've been cleared for uncovering and final impressions, we'll bring you into the office to take impressions for the implant crown.
Implants require several millimeters of strong and healthy bone for support. This is where the bone graft comes in. The doctor will fill the empty space left behind by your extracted tooth with material that is absorbed by your jaw encourages your bone to grow into that space and keeps other tissues from growing into it. You see, if that empty space stays empty, soft tissue will grow into it, aggressively expanding and reducing your bone density in that area. Allowing the graft to integrate with your bone and heal takes several months. During this time you'll visit the office every once in a while so the the doctor can make sure everything is going well. A bone graft is a great way to increase the chances that your implant will succeed!
Dr. Gekht has a wealth of experience placing bone grafts and can perform this service at our office.
Now we get to the good part! The crown is the part of the implant that looks like and functionally mimics the visible portion of your missing tooth. We'll match the shade of your crown to your natural teeth so it fits right in. And hey, all those months you spend waiting for everything to heal gives you a golden opportunity to get the rest of your teeth to a shade that you like even more. Now there isn't a crown on Earth that'll last forever, but modern crowns will last a long time. And if you need to get a crown replaced, why not think of it as something to celebrate? You're outliving your dental work! That means you're doing something right.
Just look at those pictures. These aren't your grandma's dentures! You might be shocked how awesome an implant supported denture is. Heck, you can even floss in between those bad boys! The process is very similar to getting an implant crown. The biggest difference is that instead of placing one implant and abutment, you'll have to have a few placed. The number will depend on how many teeth we're replacing. Once we've finished the waiting game with your bone graft and the integration of the implant body, the abutments are placed, we fit the denture, and boom, you've got something that looks great and doesn't have to be dropped into water every night for the rest of your life!