Implants are one of the most important breakthroughs in restorative dentistry, an option that can effectively replace missing teeth in both appearance and function. With a natural look, dental implants can blend right in with the rest of your mouth, providing an effective, aesthetically pleasing way to replace missing teeth. At their practice in The Woodlands, Texas, experienced dentists David B. Epstein, DDS, and Nikita Vakil, DMD, fill gaps in men and women’s smiles throughout The Woodlands area with dental implants. To learn more about dental implants, call the office or book an appointment online.
Dental implants are replacement roots that support artificial teeth. They’re metal posts that fit directly into the jawbone. Though you can’t technically “replace” missing teeth, implants are the second best thing to a new tooth.
Unlike dentures or bridges, prosthetic teeth supported by implants look and feel just like the rest of your teeth, and they’re designed to last a lifetime. Implants go directly into the sockets of your missing teeth, so they easily fit into your mouth.
Unlike many older tooth replacement methods, implants don’t require altering surrounding teeth, and they don’t depend on your other teeth for support.
Dental implants are a good option for many adults who have missing teeth but are generally in good oral and overall health. For implants to be safe, you need to be healthy enough to undergo minor dental procedures such as extractions. Be sure to tell Dr. Epstein or Dr. Vikil about any chronic health conditions you have — such as diabetes — if you’re interested in implants.
Implants are most effective if your gums are healthy and can protect the implant. The procedure also goes more smoothly you have a healthy, strong jawbone to support implants. Talk to your dentist if you have a history of gum disease or bone loss in your jaw, as you may require a surgical procedure, such as a bone graft or sinus lift, to increase your jawbone volume.
Overall, the procedure for getting an implant requires a few months. Though that may sound like a long time, remember that the end result is a replacement tooth that you may have for the rest of your life. Most of the time it takes involves waiting for the implant to become fully integrated into your jaw.
The first step for implants is to install the implant into the socket of your missing tooth. When the bone surrounding the implant heals — usually after about 3-6 months — you receive an abutment, a metal post that extends the implant. Your new replacement tooth fits directly onto the abutment.
Once your gums heal, which takes a week or two, your dentist takes impressions of your teeth. A lab uses these impressions to create a replacement tooth that fits perfectly into your teeth. At the following appointment, your dentist attaches the tooth to the abutment by screwing it in or using dental cement.
With proper brushing and flossing to prevent the accumulation of plaque, your new replacement tooth can last for decades.
To learn more about the benefits of dental implants, call or use the online booking tool today to schedule an appointment at the office of Dr. Epstein and Dr. Vakil.