Makeover > Dental Implants
Missing a tooth or teeth can be
demoralizing and embarrassing. With
modern technology it is possibly to
restore your smile and confidence
through dental implants.
Although there are several different
procedures for replacing teeth, dental
implants are the most natural
replacement for missing teeth. They do
not require alterations in adjacent
teeth, and the dental implant post
stimulates your jawbone in the same way
as your natural teeth. That leads to less
bone loss and preserves a younger facial
Replacing a Missing Tooth
A natural tooth is anchored into the
jawbone by its tooth root. Tooth roots
attach firmly to the jawbone and keep
your teeth stable when chewing foods.
Traditionally, if you were missing a
tooth or if one needed to be extracted,
the healthy teeth on either side of the
missing tooth would be cut down and the
whole thing replaced with a three-crown
Dental implants are the modern
alternative. Instead of cutting down two
perfectly healthy teeth, your dentist
will insert a dental post
(dental implant) into the jawbone to
replace your missing tooth root. This
post becomes solidly fixed into your jaw
as the bone heals (like a natural tooth
root). Your general dentist then places
a crown onto this artificial tooth root
that feels and functions like your
Quite simply, dental implants are the
most natural replacement for missing
Replacing Several Missing Teeth
Traditionally, several missing teeth
would have been replaced with a
removable partial or full denture.
Dentures have to be taken out and soaked
at night. During the day, they can also
look unnatural and rub painfully.
Dentures and partials make it difficult
or impossible to eat certain foods.
Dental implants can now be used to
anchor partial and full dentures. This
prevents the slipping, irritation, and
pain associated with “floating” partials
and dentures. It also prevents the
tedious removal of dentures for
overnight soaking and cleaning. Dental
implants also eliminate the need for
dental adhesives. This allows you to
enjoy eating the foods you previously
avoided . With dental implants, your
partials or dentures are firmly anchored
to the jawbone, causing them to feel
much more like natural teeth.
Natural tooth roots and dental implant
posts are fixed firmly in your jawbone.
When you chew, these tooth roots and
posts stimulate the jawbone and prevent
it from shrinking. You may have seen a
person who looked prematurely old
because their jawbone had shrunk after
wearing floating dentures. Dental
implants help preserve your jawbone and
The Success Rate of Dental
After their healing period, the success
rate of dental implants is between 94%
and 98%. If you are a non-smoker with
good oral hygiene, the percentage is
closer to 98%.
Does the Procedure Hurt?
The discomfort involved with receiving a
dental implant is similar to that of
having a cavity filled. It is often done
under local anesthesia and patients
generally experience little discomfort
after the procedure.
How Long Will Dental Implants
Dental implants become fixed to the
jawbone. Though the life span of a
dental implant will vary with each
patient, many have lasted for over 30
years. With good oral hygiene and
regular cleanings, dental implants
should last a lifetime. In contrast, the
average life span of a traditional fixed
bridge is between 10-15 years.
A critical question in determining
whether an implant can be placed is, “Is
there enough bone to support the
implant?” Fortunately, advanced bone
regeneration techniques now make it
possible to place many more implants
than just 10 years ago.
Am I a Candidate for Dental
Dental implant treatment begins with an
evaluation to determine if you are a
good candidate for this procedure. If
you are interested in dental implants,
contact us for a placement evaluation.
The following site will provide you with
more information on dental implants:
•American Academy of Periodontology
Teeth That Look and Feel Like Your Own
Dr. Irving N.
Carvajal is a certified service provider