Dental Implants in North Andover, MA
If you wear removable bridges or dentures, you may miss the way your natural teeth felt and looked. You may also worry about your removable prosthetic coming loose or falling out when you talk, eat, smile or laugh. Thankfully, you don’t have to live with the discomforts of dentures. Our practice has extensive training and experience with dental implants, an alternative to removable bridges and dentures.
Before placing a dental implant, your dentist will need to conduct a thorough examination of your mouth in order to ensure there aren’t any other oral health concerns that warrant treatment before you have the minor oral surgery that is necessary with implants. If there isn’t enough bone tissue, then your dentist may recommend bone grafting.
Dental Implant Procedure
With dental implants, your dentist places a small titanium screw in your jawbone. This acts like a tooth root to anchor a prosthetic in your mouth. The screw or post is carefully positioned to afford the greatest stability. Over the course of the next few months after implantation, the post and bone tissue go through a process known as osseointegration, where the two essentially become one integrated unit. As such, the bone holds the implant firmly in place and the implant reinvigorates the bone. Very often with tooth loss, the surrounding bone tissue begins to deteriorate. As a result, your jawbone can start to slack and the structure of your face may noticeably change to become more haggard and aged looking. An implant can prevent this from happening by stimulating healthy new bone growth that maintains your natural appearance.
Once your dentist is certain you’ve healed sufficiently, the second phase of your treatment begins. The implant is uncovered and a small abutment is attached to the top of the post. This abutment is what will connect the implant to the eventual tooth restoration. A small collar temporarily fits around the abutment to make room in your gum tissue for the restoration. This is removed when it’s time to place your new tooth.
With extensive training and experience with implants, our team can apply three types of implants in your mouth.
- A single tooth dental implant replaces a missing tooth with a crown, shaped to look like the original tooth.
- An implant supported bridge supports a bridge designed to look like one or more missing teeth.
- An implant-supported denture holds natural looking dentures permanently in place in your mouth.
In most procedures, the implant is placed during one appointment and after it heals, the crown, bridge or denture is applied. Since everyone is different, your dentist will need to evaluate your dental health to determine if an implant is right for you.