Are you missing teeth? Missing teeth can be annoying, embarrassing, and even dangerous. Dental implants are a long-term tooth-replacement option that looks like natural teeth. Dental implants are strong and durable and can help get back your awesome smile.

How do dental implants work?

Implants are made up of two parts- a post that is surgically implanted into the gums and a crown that is placed on top. Implants can be placed in both the upper and lower jaws. The post of the implant will be inserted into the jaw, where the root of the missing tooth used to be. After being placed, the implants fuse to your jawbone, and will function and feel like a normal tooth. Because the crown of the implant is custom-made, color matched, and crafted for you, your implant will be virtually undetectable once it is placed and healed.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Dental implants are a lifelong solution for missing teeth. They fill the space where your missing tooth used to be, which stops your remaining natural teeth from moving and shifting. They make chewing and speaking possible, and can completely revamp your smile cosmetically. Dental implants can also help restore the full, healthy, natural look of your face which can begin to look sunken and aged when you are missing teeth.

I am missing a tooth and you told me I should have an implant placed. What’s this all about?

Think of a dental implant as an artificial tooth root that is placed in your jaw. The root of a tooth is the part of the tooth in the jaw bone that holds the tooth in place. An implant is placed in the jaw to allow us to replace a missing tooth. We attach a crown to the implant to simulate your missing tooth. They are very strong, good looking and functioning, and last a long time. Generally, implants are made of surgical grade titanium. Your body likes this material and plays well with it. Although rejection is not generally a problem, never say never and never say always. Things can and do happen. Nothing is 100%. The success rate for implants is high, generally in the 93-95% range. Not bad.

How are they placed?

Nothing can make it sound good. The thought of screwing something into the jaw just sounds awful. It really isn’t. An opening is made through the gums to expose a small part of the jawbone in the place where the implant will go. A hole is drilled into the bone to a certain length and width. The implant fixture is then screwed into the jaw using a torque wrench. You read that right. A torque wrench. Just like one that is used in your car. Well, maybe not exactly like it. Ours is a bit smaller and the torque values are far less. The whole procedure does not take a long time to do. You may or may not go home with stitches. Postoperative discomfort is generally minimal. At the appropriate amount of time after the implant is placed, when the bone has grown up to and “attached” to it, you will come back and we will then make the impressions for the implant-retained crown. Easy peasy.

Multiple implants can be placed to eliminate the need for removable partial dentures (partials), or complete dentures, or bridges. Implants can be placed to make a “teeth-in-a-day” solution for needing to remove all the teeth in one or both arches (jaws).

If you are tired of missing teeth and are looking for a long-term solution, dental implants may be right for you. To learn more or to set up a consultation, contact us online, or call our Gahanna office today at (614) 475-7228.

Just for Laughs

Q: What do you call a bear with no teeth?

A: A gummy bear!