Getting to the Root of Your Dental Concerns
Dental Implants Little Rock
The implications of a missing tooth can be far-reaching in terms of both appearance and oral health. A large gap between teeth not only draws undue attention to itself, but it can be a hotbed for dental issues such as periodontal disease, jawbone deterioration, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Most dental experts agree that implants are the best way to replace a tooth that has fallen out or been extracted; the stability, durability, and appearance of dental implants are virtually unmatched by other options. If you’re interested in learning more about dental implants, contact Little Rock dentist John Cloud today.
The Dental Implant Placement and Restoration Process
The dental implant placement and restoration process occurs over a period of several months. Initially, the process begins with oral surgery to place the implant post. Implant posts are made of titanium and serve as artificial tooth roots. During the surgery, incisions are made in the gums where the implant(s) will be placed. Then, small holes are made in the underlying jawbone to accommodate the implant(s). The implant posts are placed in the holes, and the gums are closed with stitches. After surgery, the patient heals for several months (typically three to six), allowing the post to integrate properly with the jawbone. This integration process is called osseointegration. A temporary crown, bridge, or set of dentures may be placed in the interim to allow for normal chewing, speaking, and appearance.
The restoration of the implant occurs after the jawbone has healed around the implant post. A small metal connector piece is screwed into the implant post, and an artificial tooth is securely placed on the abutment. The type of artificial tooth used will depend on the specific treatment plan. Some patients may only need a single tooth replacement; a dental crown is used in these cases. When more than one tooth needs to be replaced, a bridge or set of dentures is selected. Several implant posts are necessary if the treatment plan includes the replacement of multiple teeth.
If you’d like more information about the placement and restoration of dental implants, contact Dr. John Cloud, serving Little Rock, Maumelle, North Little Rock, Bryant, Benton, Conway, and surrounding areas.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants provide a sturdy base for a beautiful restoration. The implant post is placed securely in the jawbone, and the artificial tooth is attached below the gumline to ensure the most natural appearance possible. Dental implants restore ease to such tasks as chewing and speaking. They support facial integrity by preventing the face from looking “caved-in,” as it can when teeth fall out and are not replaced. Implants can also decrease or eliminate any tooth or gum sensitivity that occurs from eating or drinking.
Not only do dental implants mimic the structure of a natural tooth, improving the appearance of the smile, but the placement of implants also promotes sound oral health in the following ways:
- Stimulates the jawbone, preventing bone deterioration
- Prevents gum recession
- Prevents periodontal disease that can form in pockets between teeth
- Prevents TMJ due to bite problems caused by missing teeth
- Prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting around in the mouth
- Prevents other oral health problems that can arise from missing teeth
Risks of Dental Implants
Because of the surgical component of implant placement, there are several risks. For example, the implant post could fail to integrate properly with the jawbone. If this happens, the implant post won’t adequately support the artificial tooth, and the patient could experience discomfort and problems with the function of the implant. Patients who have implants placed are also at risk of infection at the site of the implant; however, this risk can be partially mitigated with good oral hygiene habits and careful attention to post-operative instructions.
Contact Us for a Consultation
If you’re interested in the placement or restoration of dental implants, please contact the Little Rock office of Dr. John Cloud. A member of our team can discuss with you the reasons why an implant will safely and effectively replace a missing tooth.