Dental implants serve as an alternative to traditional dentures. Standard full or partial dentures replace broken or missing teeth and fit over the gum line. Dental implants are permanent replacements that the dentists at Houston Medical Center Dental attach to the patient’s jawbone. The implants contain a titanium root that fuses with the bone tissue in the jaw and are used in various procedures, such as bridges and crowns.
Dental implants not only restore the structural strength and integrity of teeth, but they also improve the appearance of the smile and the patient’s overall health. Patients who receive dental implants can maintain their lifestyle and improve their self-esteem by restoring their damaged or missing teeth. The implants reduce the risk of gum disease and prevent the collapse of facial muscles due to the lack of support from missing teeth.
The dental implant process takes at least two visits. The first visit involves and inspection of the missing teeth and X-rays of the teeth and jawbone. Since the jawbone exerts tremendous pressure during chewing, the X-rays will show if the bone is strong enough to support the stress the implant will undergo. If not, the patient may need to undergo a bone graft procedure to place sufficient bone tissue in the area.
Once the implant is in place, the healing process can take three to six months. The patient will require that much time for the bone to fuse to the titanium implant. After the bone has successfully fused to the implant root, the dentist exposes the top of the implant and sets the prosthetic crown. The crown will match the appearance and function of the surrounding healthy teeth.
If you have damaged or missing teeth, you may need dental implants. Contact Houston Medical Center Dental to make an appointment today!