Despite the prevalence of dentists and dental care, it’s still quite common for patients of all ages to suffer tooth loss of one or more teeth. Whether it be from injury, decay, or gum disease, once a tooth root is damaged, it becomes very difficult to save the tooth, or to artificially cap it with a synthetic cap such as a crown. Because crowns rely on the tooth’s root to provide strength, a damaged root often means that the full tooth must be removed.
In cases where the tooth must be removed, patients are typically left with a handful of options: either create fake teeth that cover the area (such as with dental bridges or dentures), or replace the tooth with a combination of synthetic root and crown using a dental implant.
While dentures and bridges have their advantages and disadvantages, implants are often recommended by dentists for a variety of reasons:
– They very closely match the appearance of natural teeth
– They allow for natural eating, drinking, and speaking
– They’re typically very comfortable, with most patients feeling the implant to be nearly indistinguishable from a normal tooth
– Implants are quite durable, often lasting decades
The actual implant procedure typically takes a number of visits. Typically a small titanium post is implanted into the bone socket where the tooth was removed, and the jawbone is allowed to heal around it. Six to twelve weeks later, a small post is attached to that titanium root, and the dentist creates a model for a crown to be placed onto that second post. That crown, once attached, will provide a nearly permanent replacement tooth, allowing the patient to brush, floss, eat, drink, and speak normally, without worrying about dentures coming loose, or requiring the extra hygiene procedures associated with dental bridges.
If you have a missing or damaged tooth, and you feel an implant may be an appropriate solution, speak with a dentist. While the procedure does take a number of visits, it has a high success rate and can provide the patient with a great experience for many decades.
For more information on dental implants contact Dr. Bartz at (708) 430-4440 or visit our website at bartzandbartzdental.com.
Dr. Bartz also welcomes patients from Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank and Palos Hills.