If you are suffering from tooth loss, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Nearly 178 million American adults are missing at least one tooth from their mouth, making this a problem that affects nearly 80 percent of all of us.
Learn more about dental implants
Tooth loss can cause a variety of complications in your mouth, not only blemishing your appearance, but it can also negatively affect your quality of life. You may start to develop pain in your mouth and jaw from your other teeth overcompensating for the missing tooth. You may also have a reduced bite force, and find yourself avoiding your favorite foods.
Even worse, you may even start to lose more teeth, as your remaining teeth will try to drift into the opening left behind by your lost tooth. If you are missing one or more teeth from your mouth, we here at Manhattan Maxillofacial Surgery Group may be able to fit you with a dental implant to give you a lasting and attractive restoration for your lost tooth.
What is a Dental Implant?
In the past, before the introduction of dental implants, patients had very few options when they lost a tooth. They could choose from a partial denture, or they could elect to get a fixed dental bridge. While both of these options can temporarily serve as a replacement tooth, they simply could not compare to a real tooth.
Bone loss was always inevitable after tooth loss, and the face would start to appear haggard and prematurely aged due to the lack of structure in the jaw. Partial bridges and denture partials are also only temporary replacements for a lost tooth, even if the patient takes good care of them.
Dental implants, on the other hand, are a permanent restoration option for patients who are missing a tooth. They have a remarkably high success rate, at 98 percent. They can be taken care of just like a natural tooth, and in fact, can be cleaned and flossed just like you would clean your teeth.
Dental implants restore full function to the bite, unlike dentures, which restore only about 10 percent of function to the mouth. That means you do not have to worry about eating foods that may otherwise dislodge a denture. All in all, they are an excellent option for many patients!
Components of a Dental Implant
A dental implant is comprised of three main components. The first part of the dental implant is the titanium screw. This is the part that we place directly into your jawbone. We use titanium because instead of rejecting this metal, your body accepts it.
When we place the titanium screw, your bone material will build up around the screw in a process known as osseointegration. This keeps the implant durable and sturdy in your mouth and less likely to become compromised. The screw attaches to a connector piece, called the abutment. The abutment acts as a middle part between the screw and the actual restoration itself, called the crown. The crown is the part of the implant that resembles a real tooth.
Getting a dental implant placed is a straightforward procedure and typically can be completed under a combination of local and intravenous (IV) anesthesia. From the initial procedure to final restoration, it may take up to six months or longer, depending on how well the patient is healing. To learn more about dental implants or to set up a consultation with us to determine if you are a good candidate for them, please give us a call here at Manhattan Maxillofacial Surgery Group at (212) 287-2483 today!