Whether from decay, fracture periodontal disease or injury, many people will lose a tooth at some point in their life. Regardless of the cause, dental implants are a great way to replace a missing tooth, or several missing teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace individual teeth, multiple teeth, or to add retention to removable dentures. Dental implants can also be used to replace a full set of missing teeth. They are the most popular way for patients to replace a single missing tooth, and patients report greater satisfaction with a dental implant versus a bridge or denture.
Dental implants are a multi-step procedure that will provide you with a natural looking tooth that can last for years.
Dental Implant Placement
Dental implants are artificial teeth, generally made of titanium, surgically placed into the bone of your jaw. Once a dental implant is placed, sutures will be placed and we will wait for 3-6 months for healing to occur. During this time, your bone will grown into the grooves of your implant, creating an integrated, stable based onto which we can make a crown. Implants are placed by our skilled dentists in our Albuquerque dental office as an outpatient procedure.
Dental Implant Restoration
After healing is completed, the dental implant will be ready for its new crown. Your skilled dentist will take impressions of your implant and surrounding teeth so that the lab can fabricate your new tooth. The abutment and crown will mimic the natural neck and crown of a tooth, creating a natural appearance. Our excellent dental laboratory will make your new tooth to custom fit your implant and mouth. At your following visit, we will try in your new abutment and implant crown and evaluate it for esthetics and function. These pieces will then be screwed on to your dental implant, giving you the ability to chew, eat and smile again without worry.
Why Choose a Dental Implant
Dental implants look and feel a lot like your natural teeth, allowing for exceptional aesthetics, easier eating and maintenance, improved speech and durability. Just like with your natural teeth, it is important to brush, floss and get regular dental cleanings with dental implants. Although you cannot get a cavity on a dental implant, you can still develop gum disease without proper care and maintenance.
Dental implants can also be used to replace several missing teeth. We can create bridges with dental implants when there are several teeth missing in a row. If you are missing all of your teeth, hybrid dentures, All-On-4s, and implant retained dentures can give you better retention and esthetics than traditional dentures. This can allow you to speak, eat, and smile in ways you cannot do with traditional dentures and partials.
Caring for your Dental Implant
Taking care of your dental implant is just as important as caring for your natural teeth. Although you cannot get a cavity around an implant, you can still develop periodontal disease, which can lead to failure and loss of your implant. Regular dental cleanings, flossing, and brushing should be continued.
On occasion, dental implant crowns, abutments, and screws can become loose. Should this happen, we can often tighten the screws and reattach loose parts.
It is often recommended that you use a nightguard after your dental implants are placed to prevent future fracture or damage to your new tooth. A nightguard will protect your new teeth while you are sleeping.