Dental implants

What Are Dental Implants?

Think of dental implants as artificial tooth roots, similar in shape to screws. When dental implants are placed in your jawbone (A), they bond with your natural bone. They become a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth, called crowns.

A connector – known as an abutment (B) – is placed on top of the dental implant to hold and support your crowns. The crowns are custom-made to match your natural teeth and fit your mouth (C).

Modern dental implants have been used successfully for over 30 years. They are the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth – and even better, they allow these new teeth to feel, look and function naturally.

When performed by a trained and experienced dental implant dentist, dental implant surgery is one of the safest and most predictable procedures in dentistry.

The structure of a dental implant, showing the section that is inserted in the jaw bone.

A - IMPLANT

The structure of a dental implant, showing the abutment.

B - ABUTMENT

The structure of a dental implant, showing the crown that is attached to the abutment.

C - CROWN

Why should you consider dental implants?

If you, like millions of Americans, have lost one or more teeth, you may be all too familiar with the unpleasant consequences. For many, missing teeth lead to an unattractive smile, embarrassment from loose dentures, and pain or difficulty with eating. Traditional dentistry can provide replacements for missing teeth using bridges, removable partials and dentures; however, each of these has its problems.

Bridgework usually involves altering natural teeth to provide a stable foundation for support of replacement teeth. Partials and dentures can, at times, be very unstable leading to denture sores or speech difficulties. Another little known problem associated with tooth loss is a process known as "atrophy," a shrinking of the jawbone that can progress relentlessly over the years. Bone atrophy not only affects jaw function, but also can cause adverse facial cosmetic changes. Because of the remarkable advances in dentistry in recent years, dental implants offer an effective solution to many of these problems.

What are the benefits
of dental implants?

 

1. Improved appearance

Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.

 

2. Improved speech

With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.

 

3. Improved comfort

Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.

 

4. Easier eating

Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.

 

5. Improved self-esteem

Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.

 

6. Improved oral health

Dental implants don't require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.

 

7. Durability

Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.

 

8. Convenience

Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

In the case of missing teeth, dental implants are commonly the treatment of choice. A few medical conditions preclude the use of dental implants. Studies show that smoking will increase the likelihood of implant rejection. Uncontrolled diabetes, on-going chemotherapy, radiation and medically compromised patients can reduce the success of implants, or it might not be an option. At Houston Dental Implant Center we will evaluate these factors and risks in your initial consultation.

A patient with gaps in her smile before dental implant treatment. A patient showing her new smile after dental implants treatment.

Patient Testimonial

Lily

" I was afraid to end up with a denture in a cup; dental implants saved my confidence "

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT NOW

We look forward to meeting you! Contact our dental office to schedule your next dental exam. Our friendly team will find a time that works for your schedule.