Missing teeth can make everyday activities like eating and smiling painful or embarrassing. Fortunately, dental implants offer a permanent, supremely functional solution to missing teeth. Dr. George D. Pylant III offers the latest advancements in dental implants treatment at his Bedford practice serving the Mid-Cities, Colleyville, Grapevine, and Southlake. If you are missing teeth, dental implants can help you experience the vast benefits of a complete and healthy smile. Imagine being able to comfortably chew all of your favorite foods, and to smile and speak with complete confidence! Contact our office today to learn more about how Dr. Pylant can restore your oral health and confidence for a lifetime.
Introduction to Dental Implants
So what are dental implants? Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically placed in the jawbone to act as replacement tooth roots. Through a process called osseointegration, which usually takes about three to six months, the implant becomes fused to the jawbone. Dental crowns, bridges, and dentures can be secured to implants, which allows a patient to achieve a level of functionality equal to that of natural teeth. Patients with dental implants can then resume the normal activities of life such as smiling, eating and talking clearly, without hindrance or discomfort.
Placing Dental Implants
Digital technologies have revolutionized the placing and restoration of dental implants. Dr. Pylant begins with a thorough dental examination to determine the state of the patient's jawbone, gums, remaining teeth, and overall oral health. Dr. Pylant uses a cone beam tool and an intra-oral scanner to create digital 3D images of the patient's jaw. The information from the cone beam tool and intra-oral scanner are combined in specialized implant planning software to help determine precisely the right position for dental implants. In some cases it is possible to place an implant at the time of tooth extraction. The digital planning process can allow for the design and fabrication of a temporary prior to the implant surgery. On the other hand, if you have suffered for a long time with a missing tooth, it is possible that the bone mass in that area may have deteriorated. If necessary, a bone graft can be performed to restore the bone mass needed to accommodate the implant. To help ensure graft success, Dr. Pylant can use growth factors to promote bone growth and healing.
Dental implants often require two surgeries. During the first surgery, an incision is made into the gum. The jaw is prepared and the implant is placed. Finally, the gum is stitched closed over the implant. In many cases, a healing post can be placed at the time of the first surgery, alleviating the need for a second surgery.
If a second surgery is necessary, it can be performed after the implant has become fully fused with the jaw. First, an incision is once again placed in the gums, exposing the implants. Special abutments are attached to the implants, which serve as the point of contact with crowns or dentures. The gums are once again stitched closed, leaving the abutments exposed above the gum line. Once the gums have healed, your restorative dentist can begin the process of crafting your restorations.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants provide exceptional support for dental restorations. Implant-supported dentures are especially beneficial. While conventional dentures can shift or slip while eating or speaking, implant-supported dentures remain firmly in place. Meanwhile, dental implants can prevent the loss of bone mass in the jaw. In the absence of tooth roots, the body will begin to resorb bone, causing the jaw bone to shrink. Dental implants halt this process, helping patients preserve valuable bone mass.