Bridges, partials and dentures may not be your only options when replacing missing teeth. For some people, dental implants offer a smile that looks and feels very natural. Surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, implants fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or dentures.
Implants offer stability because they integrate with your bone. Integration of the implants into your jaw also helps your replacement teeth feel more natural and some people also find the secure fit more comfortable than conventional substitutes.
Candidates for dental implants need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. A thorough evaluation by your dentist will help determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. Smokers do not qualify as candidates (the bone does not heal properly and the implant fails).
Missing one or more teeth.
Dental implants are the most realistic tooth replacements available in theory. Implants begin with a surgically placed post that is securely anchored into the jawbone. The bone surrounding the anchor will heal in approximately six months. With a completely solid and stable anchor point, an artificial tooth is then installed. For a single missing tooth, the implant is restored with a crown. The result is usually cosmetic and highly functional.
Implants can also be used to support complete dentures.
Dr. Laurie restores simple implant cases but refers more complex cases to a prosthodontist.