Dentists have been using dental implants since the 1970s. Since then millions of people have benefitted from them, making their smiles healthier and more beautiful. The single most important difference between dental implants and other tooth replacement options is implants’ ability to substitute for both the crown and root of a tooth. The implanted titanium post integrates with living bone, thereby maintaining the health and form of your jaw. Read on to learn more about dental implants in Lansing and how Dr. Hagerty can use these small devices to create big changes in your smile and in your life.
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
Once Dr. Hagerty has anesthetized the site for your implant, the procedure itself really isn’t bothersome at all. The dentist in Lansing surgically embeds the implant into the bone beneath the open socket of your missing tooth. Healing usually requires two to four months. During this time, the implant and surrounding bone tissue go through a process called osseointegration, which fuses the two together. Once you’ve healed completely, Dr. Hagerty will attach a crown over the implant. Now you have a new tooth that looks and functions much the same as your natural teeth.
Who Is A Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dr. Hagerty will thoroughly examine your teeth, gums and bone volume to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for implants. Most people are, but there are some prerequisites including:
- Gums that are free of gingivitis or periodontitis
- A commitment to stop smoking if you do, because this can significantly slow the healing process
- An excellent oral hygiene routine at home and the willingness to maintain the health of dental implants with regular checkups
- Sufficient bone density
If Dr. Hagerty finds that the spot in your jaw where you are missing a tooth is lacking enough bone to support a dental implant, then you may still be a candidate. Grafting and other bone regeneration techniques can be performed to increase bone volume and density.
When Are Dental Implants Appropriate?
Dr. Hagerty has used dental implants in a number of circumstances. They are often perfect for replacing a single missing tooth; the implant is placed and a custom designed porcelain crown is mounted on top. In addition, several missing teeth can be replaced with multiple implants that support a bridge. For instance, if you were missing three teeth consecutively, then two implants at either end of the bridge would support three crowns. Similarly, dental implants can be used to retain dentures, giving you a completely stable set of teeth. These are often called implant-retained dentures.
Contact Our Office Today
Dental implants can be the ideal solution for many people who have suffered tooth loss. To find out if they are right for you, call Hagerty Dentistry to schedule a consultation.