Dental Implants and Oral Health

Dental Implants and Oral Health

Posted by J. Whitley Wills, DDS May 27, 2024

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A dental implant is a surgical component that interfaces with the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, facial prosthesis, or to act as an orthodontic anchor. The process of implantation involves a meticulous procedure where a small titanium post is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line, serving as a sturdy foundation for replacement teeth. Over time, the implant fuses with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration, creating a stable and durable support for artificial teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Dental implants offer a long-lasting solution for tooth replacement, restoring both aesthetics and functionality to the smile while promoting overall oral health. 

 

How Dental Implants Benefit Oral Health 

  • When a tooth is lost, the underlying jawbone begins to deteriorate due to lack of stimulation. Dental implants mimic natural tooth roots, stimulating the jawbone and preventing bone resorption. This preserves the bone structure and facial contours, maintaining a youthful appearance. 

  • Dental implants provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth, enabling patients to eat, speak, and smile with confidence. Unlike removable dentures, implants eliminate slippage or discomfort, allowing for a more natural chewing motion and improved oral function. 

  • Traditional tooth replacement methods often require the alteration of adjacent healthy teeth to support bridges or dentures. Dental implants, however, do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, preserving their integrity and reducing the risk of decay or damage. 

  • Gaps left by missing teeth create spaces where food particles and bacteria can accumulate, increasing the risk of gum disease and oral infections. Dental implants fill these gaps, promoting proper alignment and making oral hygiene easier to maintain. 

  • With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime, making them a cost-effective and sustainable solution for tooth replacement. Unlike bridges or dentures that may require periodic adjustments or replacements, implants offer permanent results and peace of mind. 

The Dental Implants Procedure 

Initial Consultation 

  • The journey begins with an initial consultation with a qualified implant dentist or oral surgeon. During this appointment, the dentist will conduct a comprehensive oral examination, including X-rays or CT scans to assess bone density and oral health. 

  • Patient's dental and medical history will be reviewed to determine eligibility for dental implant surgery. Factors such as gum disease, bone density, and overall health may influence candidacy. 

  • The dentist will discuss treatment goals, expectations, and potential risks with the patient, addressing any concerns and answering questions about the procedure. 

Treatment Planning 

  • Based on the findings from the initial consultation, a personalized treatment plan will be developed. This plan outlines the number of implants needed, their placement locations, and the type of restoration (crown, bridge, or denture). 

  • Advanced imaging technology, such as cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), may be used to create 3D images of the jawbone, allowing for precise planning of implant placement. 

  • The treatment plan will consider factors such as bone quality, sinus location, and nerve proximity to ensure safe and successful implant placement. 

Implant Placement Surgery 

  • On the day of the surgery, local anesthesia or sedation will be administered to ensure patient comfort throughout the procedure. 

  • Using the treatment plan as a guide, the dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the jawbone and prepare it for implant placement. 

  • A small hole will be drilled into the bone, and the titanium implant post will be carefully inserted into the jawbone. Multiple implants can be placed during the same surgery if necessary. 

  • Once the implants are in place, the gum tissue will be sutured closed, and temporary restorations may be placed to maintain aesthetics and function during the healing process. 

Osseointegration 

  • Following implant placement, a period of healing known as osseointegration begins. During this time, the implant fuses with the surrounding jawbone, creating a strong and stable foundation for the final restoration. 

  • Osseointegration typically takes several months to complete, during which patients are advised to follow post-operative care instructions provided by their dentist. 

  • Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor healing progress and ensure that the implants are integrating successfully with the bone. 

Final Restoration 

  • Once osseointegration is complete, the final restoration phase begins. This involves the fabrication and placement of the permanent prosthetic tooth or teeth onto the implant(s). 

  • Impressions of the implant site(s) will be taken to create custom-made crowns, bridges, or dentures that match the color, size, and shape of the natural teeth. 

  • The final restoration is securely attached to the implant(s), providing a functional and aesthetic replacement for the missing tooth or teeth. 

  • Patients will receive instructions on how to care for their new implant-supported restoration, including proper oral hygiene practices and regular dental check-ups to ensure long-term success. 

 

Dental implants are not just about replacing missing teeth; they are about restoring oral health, function, and confidence. Visit J. Whitley Wills, DDS, at 59 S Idlewild St, Memphis, TN 38104, or call (901) 726-9525 to learn more about how dental implants can benefit your oral health and enhance your quality of life. 

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Location

59 S Idlewild St.,
Memphis, TN 38104

Office Hours

MON7:15 am - 3:00 pm

TUE8:00 am - 12:00 pm

WED - THU8:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRI - SUNClosed

J. Whitley Wills, DDS

Office Hours

MON 7:15 am - 3:00 pm

TUE 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

WED - THU 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRI - SUN Closed

Location

59 S Idlewild St.,

Memphis, TN

Phone : (901) 726-9525
Text Us : (901) 726-9525

Email : office@jwhitleywills.com