It’s always good to have a trusty sidekick, who you can count on through thick and thin. The Long Ranger had Tonto. Gumby had Pokey. Sherlock Holmes had Dr. Watson.
Your teeth can have a trusty sidekick if you replace a missing tooth with a dental implant. At Gentle Dental we love dental implants because they’re so reliable and they stick around forever. Sounds pretty much like a trusty sidekick.
We believe dental implants are far and away the best solution for replacing a missing tooth or to provide support for prostheses such as bridges or full or partial dentures.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is misnamed. The implant is actually the part of the entire deal that is placed down into the jawbone. The implant is made of titanium and shaped like a screw. Your Gentle Dental dentist screws the implant down into the hole formerly occupied by your tooth root. Then a post is attached to the implant and an artificial tooth to that. Because dental implants are rooted in your jawbone, just like a natural tooth, they behave basically like a natural tooth.
What are the advantages of implants?
The alternative to implants is bridges. A bridge can fill a space of one or two missing teeth in a row. But bridges must be anchored with crowns on the adjacent healthy teeth on each side of the gap. Those teeth must be shaved down to make room for the crowns. Then the entire bridge is made with those outer crowns and the false tooth or teeth in the middle. The false teeth don’t go down into the gums as implants do, so you must be sure to keep the area clean where they meet the gumline. Plus, bite strength isn’t as strong with a bridge.
Implants function just like your natural teeth. You can eat whatever you want. You brush and floss around them, just like a normal tooth. They are ultimately strong and will likely last the remainder of your life. Plus, implants stimulate your jawbone to continually build new bone mass, just as natural teeth do. This comes from the energy used in biting and chewing transferring down through the tooth, into the implant, and out into the surrounding jawbone.
Getting an implant with the experts at Gentle Dental takes three steps. First, the titanium implant is screwed down into your jawbone in the socket from the missing natural tooth. Then we give the jawbone time to grow around the implant and make it a part of the jaw. This takes from three to six months.
Next, you come in and we place a post into the implant and we let the gums heal around the post. When they are ready, we then attach the artificial tooth to the post and you’re good to go. The entire process takes from six to eight months.