dentist shows a dental implant model to a patient

What is a Dental Implant?

Team Dental Implants

A dental implant replaces a missing tooth. Dental implants are regarded as the best tooth replacement treatment available. Unlike a dental bridge or dentures, implants not only look like a natural tooth, but they function like a natural tooth. A dental implant has three distinct parts: the titanium screw that is implanted in your jaw, the abutment which is affixed to the top of the screw to attach to the crown, and the dental crown. If you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants should be an option you seriously consider.

Why Dental Implants are Superior to Other Treatments for Missing Teeth

Dental implants are a more effective treatment for missing teeth than any other treatment. This is because dental implants promote jaw bone health.  Consider that when you are missing teeth, you’re not just missing the visible portion of the tooth that is essential for chewing and keeping your other teeth in place. You are also missing the tooth root. Though you never see the roots of your teeth, they are responsible for maintaining the integrity of your jaw bone.

When you are missing a tooth, your jaw bone has nothing to support. So it begins to recede and deteriorate. This is known as jaw bone loss. Jaw bone loss is responsible for premature aging because the loss of bone leads to a sunken appearance. If you’ve ever seen someone without their dentures in, you know that the mouth, jaw, and chin appear shrunken.  

Dental Implants “trick” your jaw bone into treating the screw as it would a tooth root. Once the screw is implanted, your jaw bone and tissue begin to grow up the screw, the way it does with a natural tooth root. This process is called osseointegration, and it securely bonds the implant to your jaw, preventing further loss of bone.  It also anchors the screw so that it can support the abutment and dental crown that you’ll receive. 

Once you receive your dental implant, you’ll be free to enjoy your favorite foods again. You will feel less self-conscious about smiling, and you’ll know that you have chosen a solution that is safeguarding your overall health for the future. 

Who is Eligible to Receive Dental Implants?

Dental implants are suitable for people missing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even a full upper or lower arch of teeth. However, you will need to have enough jaw bone to support the implant. If your jaw bone loss is significant, you may need a procedure known as bone grafting performed in the months leading up to your implant surgery. 

To be considered for dental implants you will also need to be free of gum disease and periodontitis. These bacterial infections respond well to medications and a variety of treatments, including root planing and scaling. Before you will be approved for dental implants, any underlying gum disease must be treated. 

If other teeth are severely decayed or infected, other procedures may be required before your dental implant surgery. These treatments may include fillings, crowns, or root canals. 

Treatment Options for Missing Teeth in Fleming Island

When you’re ready to replace missing teeth, contact Doctors Lake Family Dental at 904-264-6700 or book an appointment online. From dental implants to dentures and dental bridges, we provide safe, effective, and natural-looking treatments to replace missing teeth.