What is a Dental Implant and How Can They Help Your Smile?

If you have lost a tooth, there is no longer the need to worry about a gap in your smile. Anxiety about the rest of your teeth moving with the extra room, rapid bone loss, discomfort, change in chewing patterns, and cosmetic concerns can be calmed with a dental implant. 

In general terms, dental implants are an artificial tooth root surgically implanted into the jaw to provide support for a crown. While a crown is often recommended, implants can also create a root for bridges or dentures. 

Made from biocompatible titanium, the implants integrate into the bone preventing bone loss and gum recession, and help to stabilize the tissues that surround and support your teeth. A replacement false tooth is then added on top of the implant to complete your full smile. We will describe a more detailed timeline later in this blog. 

Dental implants are the closest option for natural teeth, are aesthetic, and don’t cause greater stress to the mouth by involving dental work on adjacent teeth like a bridge would. They are also a more comfortable option to having to wear a removable appliance. If the replacement tooth wears out over time, a new one can simply be replaced on the implant. 

At Miller Hill Dental, Dr. Wendy Peterson offers the option of dental implants without needing a referral to an oral surgeon or specialist in many cases. With experience including studying implant dentistry at the University of Kentucky and acquiring advanced training at Implant Pathways, which provides comprehensive and in-depth training for general dentists, Dr. Peterson will complete a comprehensive oral evaluation to determine if a dental implant is the right option for you. 

The use of our 3-Dimensional Cone Beam Imaging is done to evaluate bone levels and density, and determines the location of the sinus and other vital anatomy to minimize complications with the implant process.

Our Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing technology is used to make your final abutment support and crown, which eliminates the need for any messy impressions. 

The timeline for dental implants look like: 

  1. Patient examination and images taken.
  2. Extraction and bone graft if necessary. 
  3. Four months later the titanium shaft implant will be placed into the jawbone and allowed to set. During this time the bone grows around the implant, forming a tight connection. This additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a tooth is missing. 
  4. After an additional four months, the typical time for the implant to firmly set in the mouth, the crown (new replacement tooth) is attached onto the top of the shaft. 

Dental implants can significantly improve your health and your quality of life. Once done, you will find no discomfort when eating, speaking is normal, and the implants can be cleaned by regular brushing – plus no one will be able to tell it is a false tooth! 

If you would like to schedule a consultation, please reach out at 218-345-5420 to schedule an appointment. Learn more about Dr. Wendy Peterson here.