Dental Implants



What are dental implants?

A dental implant replaces a missing or lost tooth. The implant consist of 3 parts: a titanium screw that replaces the root of the tooth, a porcelain crown that replaces the missing tooth, and piece in the middle, called the abutment, that connects the screw and the crown. Replacing missing teeth is important not only for esthetics, but also for the stability of your bite. A missing tooth has the potential to cause your bite to become unstable.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

Dental implants are an ideal treatment option for most healthy people. In most cases, dental implants are a better option than a porcelain bridge. Exceptions to this rule are patients who are long-term heavy smokers, uncontrolled diabetics, and patients who have undergone bisphosphonate treatment.

What are the advantages to dental implants?

There are several advantages to choosing dental implant treatment.

  • Because the root of the tooth is restored, the bone supporting the implant remains healthy and strong. Left without a root or implant, the bone can resorb away, leaving a defect in the jaw.
  • Another advantage of dental implants is that the teeth next to the implant do not require any alteration, unlike a bridge.
  • From the patient’s perspective, an implant looks and acts just like a normal tooth.
  • You can floss it just like a tooth, and it looks and functions like a natural tooth.
  • Dental implants are one of the most innovative and successful procedures available in dentistry today.

What are the disadvantages to dental implants?

  • One drawback to dental implant treatment is that the process takes several months to be completed. From start to finish, the process takes between 4 and 8 months. After the implant is first placed, it needs adequate time to “settle” into the jaw through a process called osseointegration. After osseointegration is complete, the crown can be placed within a few weeks.

The doctors at Carter Sledge Family Dentistry can help you understand your options and move forward with the best decision for you.