Dentists have several methods available to replace teeth. Over the years, these methods have evolved into very realistic replacements. However, dental implants still come out on top as the number one dentist recommended way to replace missing teeth. This is because it is a sophisticated system that is made up of three parts to mimic natural teeth. They are popular among dentists because of the many health and aesthetic benefits they offer. Leatherwood Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Denton, TX offer dental implants to patients missing one, several, or all of their teeth.
Parts of a Dental Implant
Dental implant supported restorations are made up of three parts: the implant fixtures, the abutments, and a dental restoration.
The implant fixture is the part of this tooth replacement system that sets it apart from your other options. This screw like titanium post replaces a tooth root and supports the dental restoration. Titanium is a metal that is very safe for the human body. It is a tough yet light metal that makes great replacement parts in the body.
We offer implant fixtures in a few sizes so we can place them in different places along the jaw line. Shorter implants that are wider in diameter are typically used in the molar region of the jaw line. Standard size implants are available if you have enough bone to support them. Mini dental implants are also available for patients who lack enough supporting bone and are less invasive.
The number of dental implants you need simply depends on how many teeth you are missing and where the gaps are located. A single missing tooth only requires a single implant. Multiple missing teeth will require anywhere from two to eight implant fixtures per arch.
Implants are inserted into the jaw bone during a surgical procedure. They are left there to heal and fuse with the surrounding bone. This process typically takes three to six months.
The abutment is a tiny metal piece that will attach to the implant once the implant has fully fused to the bone. After three to six months, your dentist will open back up your gums and attach one to each implant. You will need another few weeks of healing time after this procedure.
An abutment essentially acts as a connector piece between the implant and restoration. Abutments also come in many shapes and sizes to accommodate the type of restoration you need.
The last part your dentist will attach is the replacement teeth. The type of dental restoration you get will depend on how many teeth you are replacing and where they are located. Your Denton, TX dentist will try on your custom restoration to ensure proper fit and aesthetics before securing it. If you are missing one tooth, your dentist will replace it with a dental crown and one dental implant. If you are missing several teeth in a row, your dentist will replace it with a dental bridge and at least two dental implants. You dentist will replace an entire arch of missing teeth with a denture and anywhere from two to eight dental implants.