Prompt and effective tooth replacement is important for not only your dental health, but for overall quality of life. Although there are many options today for replacing missing teeth, dental implants provide the most natural looking and functioning results with the highest rate of overall patient satisfaction. Other restorations may require costly touch-ups and replacement over the years. With proper dental care and good oral hygiene, a dental implant can last a lifetime. Memphis dentist Dr. Elizabeth Lee can restore a functional, stable and lasting smile with dental implants. She offers single tooth, multiple teeth and implant secured dentures, also known as “all-on-four”. With over 20 years of hands on experience and many hours of continuing education, Dr. Lee can work with you to address missing or lost teeth using dental implants
What is a Dental Implant?
The implant is actually a metal anchor and small post that is surgically placed into your jawbone below the gum line to serve as tooth root substitute. It is cylinder shaped so it resembles a screw and it is made up of bio-compatible titanium. The dental implant will be allowed to heal and integrate with the natural bone, serving as the stable anchor for the new tooth.
Dental Implant Process
The first thing Dr. Lee will so is meet with you to thoroughly evaluate your dental health and discuss your cosmetic goals to ensure that dental implants are right for you. If you qualify for dental implants, Dr. Lee will create a personalized treatment plan in her Memphis, TN dentist office. The implant process, from evaluation to securing the dental restoration, usually takes six to eight months, and most patients don’t experience a disruption to their daily lives.
Placing the Implant – If a tooth extraction is needed, that will be performed first and then the dental implant will be surgically placed in the jawbone. In many cases, Dr. Lee will be able to surgically place the dental implant in her Memphis, TN 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. The healing process can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Depending on where the implant was placed, a temporary restoration may be placed while the implant heals and integrates with the bone.
Restoring the Dental Implant – While the dental implant is healing, your dental crown, denture, or dental bridge will be fabricated at a dental laboratory according to Dr. Lee’s specifications. After about three to six months, once the dental implant has fully fused with your jaw bone, Dr. Lee will attach the abutment to the implant post. Then the dental crown, dental bridge or denture is secured to the dental implant abutment for a permanent restoration by Dr. Lee in her Memphis, TN dentist office.