If you’ve got a missing or badly decayed tooth, you may think there’s no way to replace it with a natural-looking, functional tooth. But in just a few visits to Lynn A. Livingston, DDS, of Dental Care Center of Decatur, a dental implant can restore the appearance and function of your teeth. For more information, call the office in Decatur, Georgia, or make an appointment online.
If you need to replace a missing tooth or a tooth that’s been too damaged by decay or injury to save, your best option may be a dental implant. Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces tooth roots with a metal post that can support a crown, or artificial tooth. While the process is more involved than receiving a crown or bridgework, dental implants are a more durable treatment option and can help people whose teeth can’t be repaired with less direct treatment.
Dental implant surgery can differ depending on the type of implant you need and on the condition and health of your jawbone, and can sometimes require multiple procedures.
Dental implants are more durable than simple crowns or bridgework, and they won’t shift or slip like dentures can. They also won’t decay like natural teeth, and can be used to replace teeth that are missing or compromised at the root, something that traditional crowns can’t do.
Dental implants may be right for you if you meet the following criteria:
You also need to be able to commit to the full treatment process, which can take place over several months. If you use tobacco, you’ll need to stop before beginning dental implant treatment.
Dental implant surgery usually takes place over multiple visits, with time in between for your jawbone to heal. The first step is to remove any remnants of the damaged or decayed tooth if it’s still present.
Once the tooth is removed, Dr. Livingston will examine the underlying jawbone to confirm it will be able to support a new dental implant. In some cases, the jawbone may be too soft or thin to support an implant, and bone will have to be grafted into place.
To place the implant, Dr. Livingston will drill a small hole in the jawbone, and place a titanium post in the bone. The post is implanted deep in the bone, and then the bone is allowed to heal around it, securing it better than any other dental prosthetic. The Dental Care Center of Decatur uses only the best dental implants, from well-respected brands like Zimmer Biomet, Henry Schein®, and Keystone Dental, so you can be confident that your implant will be sturdy and durable.
Once the jawbone has healed around the post, an abutment is placed on top of the post, and a crown, or artificial tooth, is affixed to complete the implant.
If you need a dental implant surgery, or are interested in what dental implants can do for you, call the Dental Care Center of Decatur or make an appointment online.