How Dental Implants Can Restore Your Smile
Dental implants. You've heard of them, but how do they work? In his Milford, CT dental practice, Dr. Bruce Schechter places these modern prosthetics, giving patients optimal oral function, natural personal appearance and strong supporting bone and soft tissue. Implants could be your best choice for a complete smile.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth. It consists of a titanium root inserted directly into the jawbone, a post and a custom-made crown. Implants also support bridgework and full dentures, restoring heavily damaged smiles to beautiful form and function. Dr. Schechter performs the entire dental implant treatment right in his Milford office.
According to the American Dental Association, dentists in the United States place about five million implants annually in patients who are in good overall health and have adequate bone in their jaws. Bone density and health is an important factor as implant success depends on the ability of the jaw to adhere to the prosthetic through a process known as osseointegration. Osseointegration makes the artificial root strong and stable so the patient can bite, chew and speak with complete confidence.
The implant process
If you have lost one or more teeth to infection, accident or decay, you could qualify for dental implant placement. Dr. Schechter will do a complete oral exam, and digital X-rays to determine health and bone density.
After this screening process, the dentist uses a local anesthetic to numb the area to receive the implant. He drills a little opening in the jaw bone and inserts the titanium root. After the gums are closed with sutures, you'll go home to heal. As the weeks go by, the bone will integrate with the implant. This takes time but ensures a foundation strong enough to accept the pressures of chewing and biting.
When you return to Dr. Schechter's office, he'll reopen the implant site and bond on your metal alloy extension post and customized porcelain crown. Then, you are free to use your implant just as you do your natural teeth.
Living with dental implants
Whether you have one or more implants, you'll need to practice thorough dental hygiene at home and also get your usual semi-annual exams and cleanings with Dr. Schechter. Plaque and tartar threaten implant retention, and so does tobacco. Cigarette smoke degrades the gums and bone which support dental implants, making them prone to infection (peri-implantitis) and actually burns soft oral tissues. So, if you do smoke or chew tobacco, please consult your doctor about a tobacco cessation program.
Also, you should know that healthy implants likely last for decades. They keep surrounding natural teeth from shifting their positions, and they look and feel so real patients forget they even have them!
Find out more
Dental implants just could be what your smile needs. To learn all about them and how they work, phone Dr. Schechter's team to arrange your implant consultation. Call (203) 878-1787.