If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be the solution to restore your smile to looking and feeling back to normal. Dental implants are comfortable and durable solutions that can last a lifetime. Consider dental implants to improve one or more missing teeth and enhance your dental and overall health. Learn more about how dental implants can help you. 

What are Dental Implants?

In the 1950s, an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, discovered that he could not remove titanium cylinders from the femur of a rabbit. As he learned about regeneration and bone healing, he realized that bone grows around titanium and attaches to it. This discovery aided in discovering dental implants secured in the gums’ bone. Before introducing the titanium implant, the body would reject foreign materials, making the dental implant procedure unimaginable. In 1965, the first dental implant was placed. 

Today, a dental implant comprises of three main parts, the post, the abutment, and the attachment. The post is made out of titanium and sits in your jawbone. The post acts like your tooth’s roots and holds the new tooth in place. Next, the abutment holds together the post and the attachment. Lastly, the attachment depends on the number of teeth you would like to replace. If you replace a singular tooth, Dr. Cornelius may recommend a dental crown. Patients missing multiple teeth in a row can benefit from a dental bridge. Finally, patients missing an entire set of teeth can benefit from a removable or fixed denture. This is also known as All on 5’s. This can you give you a beautiful smile that looks and feels and acts like your natural teeth.


Benefits of Dental Implants

There are several benefits of dental implants. Not only will the patient’s teeth feel and function like natural, but they will also look natural. Over time, when you are missing one or more teeth, your teeth begin to shift. The shifting can give your face a sunken appearance. A dental implant can prevent tooth shifting leading to a more robust facial appearance.

Additionally, the bone is not stimulated without a tooth root in the jawbone, and the jawbone eventually loses its density. Placing a dental implant can stimulate the bone and lead to bone growth. Lastly, patients love dental implants because they are stronger than natural teeth. You can enjoy the foods you love without worry with a dental implant.


How is a Dental Implant Placed?

It takes a time from start to finish with a dental implant. First, we will take x-rays of your missing tooth and gums to get a good idea of where your tooth is missing and any other dental concerns. Next, Dr. Cornelius will place the titanium implant post. Once he sets the post, it will take a few months for the implant to fuse to the bone. He may place a temporary crown at this time. Once the implant has connected to the bone, the permanent crown, bridge, or denture is placed. The best part about a dental implant is that you now have a tooth that looks and feels like your natural tooth!

Dental implants are an excellent investment for many patients. They love the freedom that dental implants give them, along with the natural-looking smile. Call our dental office today if you are ready for a permanent solution to your one or more missing teeth.


Pre-Implant Surgery

Sometimes, a surgery is needed before implants are placed in order to have success with the implants. People who have severely damaged teeth may need to have surgery to remove any broken or damaged teeth to make room for the implant. Bone graft and membrane may be necessary in order to help support the implant when it is placed. While these procedures will require healing time, they are very important steps to help ensure that your implant will be placed properly, feel comfortable, and heal correctly.


Tooth Extractions

There are times when Dr. Cornelius will need to extract a tooth if it cannot be repaired. Dr. Cornelius will take x rays and perform an exam to look for severely damaged or infected teeth. If a tooth is cracked down to the root or infected, the tooth may need to be extracted instead of repaired. Sometimes, dental implants can be placed into the socket where the tooth was extracted on the same day. Other times, the area may need to heal before the implant can be placed. Dr. Cornelius will answer any questions you have and give you all your options during your consultation. We also have a variety of financial options available to help you find a way that works for you.


Bone Graftng

Your jaw bone can start to weaken or deteriorate when a tooth is missing, causing a sunken appearance on your outer facial features and smile. Bone grafting in San Antonio, Texas, can help. The longer a tooth is missing, the more likely it is for your other teeth to shift into this empty space. According to research done by Science Direct, studies show there can be a 25% bone loss during the first year a tooth is missing and 40% to 60% bone loss width within 3 years of a tooth missing. Because of this bone deterioration or shifting, bone grafting and membrane may be required to help with the successful placement of a dental implant. Bone grafting requires allowing the area heal for at least four months.

Dental implants are an excellent investment for many patients. They love the freedom that dental implants give them, along with a beautiful natural-looking smile. At Nautical Dental, Dr. Cornelius offers a consultation for patients interested in a dental implant. Call our dental office today if you are ready for a permanent solution to your one or more missing teeth.