Dental Implants in North Central San Antonio
When considering options to replace missing or damaged teeth, dental implants are an excellent choice. They’re the most natural-looking restoration option, and unlike dentures, they don’t have to be removed for cleanings, and there are no food restrictions. Implants provide excellent support and stability for partial dentures too.
To the untrained eye, they appear to be the teeth patients were born with. That’s why dental implants are the best option in dentistry besides natural teeth.
What Are Implants?
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist or periodontist. Once in place, they provide a solid foundation for a crown to be placed on the implant, restoring the missing tooth.
Some reasons patients might consider implants are to replace one or more missing teeth without affecting other teeth, resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting; restore the patient’s smile, restore proper chewing, speech, and digestion, restore or enhance facial tissues, or support a bridge or denture, making it more secure and comfortable.
Dental implants are strong and durable, and will last many years. Occasionally, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
The Dental Implant Process
During the initial consultation, X-rays are taken on the specific area of your mouth receiving the implant. These X-rays show if the bone in the area is strong enough to support a dental implant. It will also reveal if there’s enough room for the implant. Impressions are also taken of the jaw and teeth at this time.
Discussion of the patient’s medical history is important, since this is a surgical procedure. Dr. Lazor wants to ensure his patients are physically capable of handling the procedure and aren’t allergic to any medications. If all looks well, the dentist will discuss cost, and schedule a surgery date. The good news is that most people are good candidates for dental implants.
When it’s time for surgery, a local anesthetic is applied to numb the area. While it’s numb, the titanium implant will be surgically placed into the bone, and the gum is stitched closed. Post-surgical pain is usually not severe, and may be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers. The area is allowed to heal and integrate itself for up to six months.
After healing is complete, the custom crowns are made and attached to the post portion of the anchor. In some cases, several fittings may be required, so this step may take one to two months to complete. Once Dr. Lazor is satisfied with the fit, the crowns are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort for our patient.
Implants can be cared for like natural teeth. Good oral hygiene and eating habits, along with regular dental visits, will help the new implant last for many years to come.