What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant consists of a tiny, titanium post which is implanted into the jaw bone. This post supports the prosthetic tooth and acts as a tooth root, stimulating healthy bone growth which reduces the risk of jaw shrinkage- a common side effect of untreated tooth loss.
The important benefits of dental implants for overall and long term dental health include:
- Improved bone and gum health (compared to alternative restorations)
- Avoids degradation of remaining healthy teeth (as in conventional bridgework)
- Improves the appearance of the smile and lower face
- Patients can enjoy a healthy diet without restrictions
- No worry of slippage or dentures “falling out”
Dental Implants: What To Expect
Dr. Lee can typically complete ALL phases of your dental implant procedure in the comfort of our Memphis dentist office. For more complex cases, she will coordinate the surgical phase of your procedure with a local oral surgeon who will perform the implantation of the post. In most cases, a period of 3-6 months recovery is necessary for all tissues to heal and the post to integrate into the bone.
Depending on the type of implant you are receiving, at the second visit an abutment will be attached to the post. This will serve to secure the final restoration and will need to heal before the final step.
The final restoration, a custom made dental crown, bridge or denture, will be placed by Dr. Lee. Your “new tooth” will be adjusted for a comfortable fit and then permanently secured to the post.
Dental implants can be cared for just like natural teeth with daily brushing, flossing and routine dental visits to ensure oral health.
Single Tooth Implants
A single tooth dental implant is the most popular type of implant placed today. When a single tooth is lost, a dental implant is recommended whenever possible because it not only replaces all parts of the missing tooth but does not require adjacent teeth to be degraded to accommodate it, as is the case with a dental bridge.
Implant Secured Dental Bridge
Replacing several consecutive teeth can be done effectively with dental implants. Dr. Lee will place implants to serve as the anchors for your custom dental bridge, providing a secure restoration that will fit beautifully with your remaining teeth. The use of implants will also reduce changes in the structure and appearance of the jaw.
Implant secured dentures, or all-on-four, can offer a more comfortable and lasting result when all of the top or bottom teeth are lost. Dr. Lee will strategically place as few as four dental implants which will maintain healthy jaw bone structure and secure a hybrid denture. No more slipping dentures or daily use of adhesives!
With a good oral hygiene routine and proper dental care, you can expect your new smile to last for years.