If you are missing a tooth or teeth due to dental decay, it has likely caused a point of self-consciousness for you. Can it be fixed? Is it too late? For the most severe dental problems, like tooth loss, one of the most common solutions is the dental implant. Where fillings remove small areas of decay with a synthetic substance and crowns place a cap over an existing tooth root, implants replace the entire tooth – root and all. The process is involved, but done properly, a tooth implant can last many decades, potentially even a lifetime.
But how does it work? To be honest, it’s quite simple. The procedure starts by removing the existing tooth and root and replacing it with a titanium implant post. This metal post is the foundation for the entire implant, and for 6-12 weeks, the bone forms a permanent bond with the metal post. Once firmly bonded, the dentist will attach a second metal connector – known as an abutment – to the post, which provides a connecting surface for the replacement tooth. The dentist will then make impressions, modeling the entire mouth so that the replacement crown perfectly matches your existing bite. Finally, the crown will be attached permanently to the abutment, providing a solid, permanent tooth
The overall process typically involves very little pain – while there may be some pain in the initial extraction, the rest of the procedure can typically be done under local anesthesia. The procedure does take a few months to allow the post to properly bond to the jawbone, but once complete, the patient will have a natural looking, durable replacement for even the most severely damaged teeth.
If you have questions or concerns regarding dental implants, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada, DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.
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