A dental implant is another option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to set. Eventually, the bone grows around it forming a tight connection. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist attaches the replacement tooth or crown on top of the shaft.
There are several advantages to implants. The first is permanence because implant crowns are cemented or screwed in place. The second is that adjacent teeth are left alone and thus unaffected. Third, implants stimulate the surrounding bone preventing further bone loss which can occur after tooth extraction. Should the implant tooth ever wear out, another can simply be replaced on the implant.
Implants can also be used as support for a bridge or denture. This has several advantages. First, there is less adjustment period to acclimate the patient who, once the procedure is done, only feels teeth, not metal supports intruding into the mouth. Second, implants stimulate the surrounding bone which prevents continued bone loss that occurs after a tooth is extracted. Third, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating with implants. Best of all, of course, they don’t have to be taken out all the time.
We also offer mini dental implants. These implants are about half the diameter of traditional implants and are used mainly to stabilize lower dentures. These implants can be placed in one appointment and a denture can be placed on them immediately. The cost is 50%-70% of standard dental implants.