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Dental Implants Rebuild Your Smile in Houston, TX

Animation of implant supported dental crownWhether you are missing a single tooth or an entire mouthful, dental implants can offer a permanent solution to the gaps in your smile.

Dental implants work by attaching artificial teeth directly to the jaw. There are three components of an implant: the anchor, which will be surgically embedded into the bone, a post to which the tooth attaches, and the artificial tooth itself. Dental implants can replace one or more teeth, provide support for a partial denture, or be used to anchor a full denture.

Dental implants are not an option for everyone. Because they require a minor surgery, patients must be in good health, have healthy gums, have adequate bone to support the implant, and be committed to meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits.

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants provide artificial teeth that look more natural than any other restorative treatment. Plus, many patients also report that whenever they chew, the implants feel secure just like their regular teeth. People who cannot successfully use conventional dentures or those who need an alternative to removable partial dentures can benefit from dental implants as well.

Are dental implants right for me?

If you are considering implants, a thorough evaluation by your dentist will help determine if you are a good candidate for them. This evaluation will include a clinical examination and a complete dental and medical history to gather information about any conditions you have that could interfere with normal healing (such as diabetes or heart disease). Also, be sure to tell the dentist about any allergies you have or any medications you are taking.

During the dental examination, the dentist will check the condition of your mouth, the supporting bone in your jaw, and the way your upper and lower teeth fit together. They may gather additional information by taking x-rays and by making models of your teeth. With this information, they can determine if dental implants are the best way to replace your missing teeth.

What is involved in placing Implants?

First, a minor surgery is performed to place the anchor. This procedure normally takes about a few hours, and up to six months may be required for the bone to grow around the anchor and firmly hold it in place. Some dental implants require a second surgery in which a post is attached to connect the anchor to the replacement teeth. With other implants, the anchor and post can be placed at the same time.

This procedure can be done with local anesthetic or IV sedation. Afterward, your doctor may prescribe you pain medication to manage any swelling or discomfort. Your dentist will also give you careful instructions on diet and oral hygiene.

After the gums have had several weeks to heal, the restorative teeth will be made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one or two months to complete.

What materials are used?

The replacement teeth used for dental implants are usually made of porcelain, metal, or a polymer resin, which are the same materials used for conventional bridges and dentures. The anchors and posts are made from a number of synthetic materials. Titanium is a favored metal for many implants since it is very compatible with bone and other tissues.

How do I take care of my Implants?

Your dentist will give you instructions on proper care and periodically evaluate the healing and attachment of the implant to your jaw. With proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, implants can easily last for 30 years or more.

Hopefully, this answered a few of your key questions about dental implants. Dr. Cher Rich can offer you this fantastic solution right here in Houston, TX, so if you’d like to permanently close the gaps in your teeth, be sure to contact us today.