Missing teeth can be more than simply a cosmetic concern; when left untreated, they can lead to numerous functional and structural issues within the mouth. For example, a missing tooth can make eating and speaking more difficult, it can allow other teeth to shift position, it can create bite misalignments, and it can eventually even result in jawbone deterioration.
Fortunately, a variety of methods are available today for replacing missing teeth (or teeth that require extraction)—and the premier solution among these options is dental implants.
- What Are Dental Implants?
- Benefits of Dental Implants
- Dental Implant Candidates
- Dental Implant Procedure
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is strategically anchored into the jawbone to provide support for a crown, bridge, or denture. Once surgically placed, surrounding bone tissue fuses to the implant post through a process called osseointegration, making it a permanent part of the mouth. As a result of their exceptional stability and durability, dental implants are universally considered the top tooth replacement option available.
At Arcadia Endodontics, Kevin Axx, DDS—one of our board-certified endodontists—is extensively trained and experienced in performing dental implant surgery. In fact, he is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, a distinction that signifies he has received considerable education as well as demonstrated a high level of proficiency in implant dentistry.
For all dental implant cases, Dr. Axx is committed to achieving exceptional, lasting results while upholding the greatest standards of patient safety, care, and comfort.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants offer several benefits to individuals seeking to replace missing, damaged, or extracted teeth:
- They are anchored to the jawbone, eliminating the need for less-dependable oral adhesives
- Healthy surrounding teeth do not typically have to be modified (such as with standard bridges)
- They function exactly like natural teeth when biting, speaking, and chewing
- They are extremely long-lasting, with the implant post itself generally being permanent
- The crown, bridge, or denture placed overtop can be shaped and colored to appear completely natural
- They do not require special maintenance beyond normal brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings
- They can help prevent deterioration of the jawbone in the area of a missing tooth
- They are not susceptible to decay like natural teeth
- Their success rate is very high when placed properly by a qualified provider
- They can be more cost-effective than alternative tooth replacement solutions in the long-run due to their elite durability and longevity
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Candidates for dental implants must have enough jawbone density to properly support the implant post(s). At the time of your consultation, Dr. Axx will discuss your unique needs and goals, as well as evaluate your candidacy by conducting a thorough oral examination. Using advanced technological equipment like Cone Beam CT scanning, he is able to clearly view your jawbone(s) from virtually any angle, allowing him to determine whether or not you have an adequate amount of bone density in which to anchor a dental implant (or multiple implants, depending on your specific case).
If Dr. Axx believes implant dentistry is a good option for you, he can proceed with planning surgery, this time utilizing the Cone Beam CT system to identify the ideal location(s) and angle(s) in which to place the implant(s) in order to maximize treatment success. If he does not feel you are a good candidate at this time, he may recommend a preliminary procedure such as bone grafting to help increase jawbone density and create a better foundation for implantation.
What Does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?
Dental implant surgery is generally performed using local anesthesia, with the vast majority of patients reporting they experienced sensations of pressure as opposed to discomfort. That said, if you have a particularly low tolerance for pain, or if you suffer from dental anxiety, we do offer sedation endodontics to help maximize comfort and relaxation throughout treatment.
During the dental implant procedure, Dr. Axx will carefully insert the implant post(s) into the predetermined jawbone area(s) with optimal precision. Traditionally, dental implant surgeons would not be able to identify exact implant placement until the time of surgery, so the fact that the specific location(s) and angulature(s) of implant insertion is determined in advance with the aid of Cone Beam CT scanning is particularly beneficial in that it takes any “guesswork” out of surgery.
Following their placement, the implant(s) will need to fuse to the jawbone via osseointegration over the next few months. Dr. Axx can refer you to a general or cosmetic dentist to have a temporary crown, bridge, or denture made, which can be fixed to the implant(s) during this time. Once osseointegration is eventually complete and confirmed by Dr. Axx, the general or cosmetic dentist can affix your permanent crown(s), bridge, or denture to your implant(s)—completing the treatment and restoring form and function to your smile.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have additional questions, or if you wish to find out if implant dentistry is right for you, please do not hesitate to contact Arcadia Endodontics today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Axx.