Bozeman Restorative Care
Restoring a Toothless Area with a Dental Implant.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium surgical screw that acts as the root of a tooth. It is used to support a dental crown to restore an area in the mouth where a tooth has been lost or was missing.
Why should a missing tooth be replaced?
Outside of appearances making you feel self conscience about your smile, missing teeth can actually create functional problems. Neighboring teeth rely on adjacent and opposing teeth to hold them in place. When a tooth is missing for some time the neighboring teeth will tend to drift. If enough of this drifting occurs it can affect how your teeth come together, decreasing chewing efficiency and creating unnatural wear patterns in the rest of your teeth. On top of that, when the jaw bone no longer has a tooth to support it shrinks and takes away support in that area and the adjacent teeth. This change in bone structure can affect your facial appearance depending on what tooth or teeth are missing.
The Placement Procedure:
The first step to placing a dental implant is using local anesthetic to numb the site where the implant will be placed. The tissue is then parted to the side by means of a small incision. A small pilot hole is then placed in the bone to guide the following steps of widening the implant site for placement. Once the bone is sized accordingly, the implant is placed in the bone. A healing cap is place on the implant to protect it while healing takes place. The tissue is then sutured back into place and healing begins.
Restoring the Implant:
After enough time has passed for the bone to integrate and heal around the implant we can move the restorative phase of treatment where a crown is placed on the implant. This consists of an impression appointment and another appointment to cement or screw the crown to the implant.