What you need to know about the implant procedure in Woburn, MA
Losing a tooth can leave a hole in your smile, your confidence, and your oral health. While there are several options for replacing missing teeth, only one procedure is widely known as the “gold standard,” commonly recommended by dentists and patients alike. Dental implants, available at Four Corners Dental Care in Woburn, MA, have many unique benefits. Additionally, the implant placement procedure is much gentler and more comfortable than you might imagine.
The importance of tooth replacement
The human jaw is incredibly powerful, with about 150 to 200 psi (pounds per square inch) of bite force. The natural design of the oral structure minimizes wear and tear, with pressure distributed among several teeth as you chew. The roots of teeth are securely attached to the jawbone, but have a tiny, nearly indiscernible, amount of mobility. This provides a “shock absorber,” helping to protect teeth from damage. Surprisingly, the pressure and movement of tooth roots does not cause damage or wear on the underlying bone. Instead, it actually keeps the bone tissue healthy, much like exercising builds muscle strength.
Loss of a tooth disrupts the oral structure’s delicate balance in many ways. First, it can alter normal chewing patterns, causing extra wear on remaining teeth. Additionally, without stimulation of a tooth root, the bone quantity in that area begins decreasing. Due to these and other factors, nearby teeth have less support and they gradually begin shifting.
Choosing the right option
The ideal tooth replacement solution would address all the above-mentioned issues, as well as fully restoring chewing ability and achieving a natural appearance. Unfortunately, most techniques fail to achieve all these goals.
Conventional crown-and-bridgework involves securing a restoration to nearby teeth, which provides reliable stability. However, it also requires alteration to those teeth, and subjects them to an undue amount of strain. Standard removable dentures can replace all the teeth in an arch, but they rely on suction and adhesive to hold them in place. This can cause discomfort, difficulty chewing, and embarrassing mishaps. Furthermore, neither technique addresses the problem of bone loss.
Dr. Moutevelis and his team at Four Corners Dental Care to help solve dental related issues.
Dental implants offer a unique – and in many ways superior – method of securing restorations, by literally going to the root of the problem. Other techniques only replace the crown (visible upper portion) of a tooth, whereas an implant replaces the root. This effectively replicates the anatomy, functionality, and appearance of a natural, healthy tooth.
Are implants a good choice for you?
If you have one or more missing teeth, the answer is most likely, “Yes.” The best implant candidates are healthy adults with enough bone quantity and quality, who are free of oral disease. That doesn’t mean that a person with oral health concerns is not a candidate for implants, but certain preliminary treatments may be needed.
The most important variables affecting the implant procedure include:
- The condition of your oral health
- The number of teeth that are missing
- Shape and health of underlying bone
- Your preferences and treatment goals
About the implant placement procedure
Every patient is unique, and treatment is customized accordingly. Although that statement applies to any procedure performed at Four Corners Dental Care, it is especially true of dental implants. The number of appointments, number and size of implants, places, type of tooth restoration used, and total treatment time can vary greatly from one person to another.
The steps in the implant process may include:
- Consultation – We always begin with in-depth discussion, diagnostics, and treatment planning. You will be well-informed of what to expect, and we are happy to answer your questions.
- Preliminary treatments – If periodontitis, infections in your mouth, or other serious oral disease is present, it may need to be addressed prior to implant placement.
- Bone grafting – Patients who have experienced bone loss may not have enough tissue to support implants. In these cases, we will recommend grafting or augmentation procedures to strengthen and increase bone.
- Implant placement – This is a minor oral surgery, with minimal post-treatment discomfort.
- Implant restoration – A beautiful crown, bridge, or denture made of high-strength porcelain or ceramic is attached to the implant, via a small connector called an abutment.
The entire process may take a few months, but the result can last for many years. In fact, implants commonly last a lifetime in patients who maintain good oral health. If you have any questions or you would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at (781) 315-4456.