If you’re missing teeth, you may feel embarrassed when you use your mouth. Having gaps along your gum line can make you feel unattractive and self-conscious when interacting with others. It can also cause discomfort when speaking and chewing.
Dental implants work to correct the cosmetic and functional problems associated with missing teeth. These artificial tooth replacements look natural and stay secured. Whether you’re missing one tooth or several teeth, dental implants provide a long-term and low-maintenance option for achieving an attractive, fully functioning mouth.
You’ll get the best results with dental implants when you’re treated by an experienced specialist. Juan M. Carrillo, DMD, of Richmond, Virginia has the expertise to ensure that your dental implants restore your mouth to its natural appearance and abilities with minimal discomfort and inconvenience.
What are dental implants?
In the United States, more than three million people have dental implants, a total that grows by 500,000 people annually, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
A dental implant consists of three components:
- A titanium rod screwed into your jawbone that serves as an artificial tooth root
- A crown, or artificial tooth, that comprises the visible portion of the dental implant
- An abutment that connects the crown to the top portion of the titanium rod that extends above the gumline
Dr. Carrillo uses impressions of your mouth to create a crown that fits comfortably in the open gap. This helps ensure a snug fit that also allows for easy cleaning and full function. In addition, Dr. Carrillo works to restore your natural-looking smile by carefully color-matching your crown to your remaining teeth.
How are dental implants inserted?
The first step in getting dental implants involves the insertion of the titanium rod or artificial tooth root. While you’re anesthetized, Dr. Carrillo makes an incision in your gum to expose your jawbone. With access to your jawbone, he drills small holes to allow for attachment of the artificial root.
Over a period of three to six months, your artificial root fuses with your jawbone and gum tissue. When it is sufficiently stable and secure, Dr. Carrillo adds the abutment to the top of the root. He then attaches a dental crown to the abutment so that the finished dental implant has the appearance of a natural tooth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants stand apart from other tooth replacement options because they allow your adjoining, natural teeth to remain intact, giving you a better chance of long-term oral health. Unlike dental bridges, dental implants don’t require grinding down the abutment teeth. Instead, the artificial tooth root holds the crown securely without affecting any other teeth.
While the process of getting dental implants takes longer and costs more than other options, you can expect positive long-term results. Dental implants have a success rate of up to 98% and can last a lifetime with proper care, making the extra time and money worthwhile.
Dental implants can also provide the following benefits over dental bridges and dentures:
- Look and feel almost like your natural teeth
- Allow for in-place cleaning, unlike the removal required for bridge and denture cleaning
- Restore your ability to speak, eat, and smile normally
- Stimulate the jawbone to prevent bone loss caused by missing teeth
Are you a good candidate for dental implants?
Dental implants can provide natural tooth replacement if you’ve lost one or several teeth due to decay, injury, or disease. Since dental implants require surgery, the best candidates start with good physical and oral health. To qualify for dental implant surgery, you also should:
- Have healthy gum tissue without evidence of periodontal disease
- Be free of chronic medical conditions that could interfere with post-surgery healing
- Have a fully grown jawbone
- Not chew tobacco or smoke
- Be willing to make the time commitment to complete the dental implant process
You don’t have to suffer from the discomfort and embarrassment of missing teeth. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Carrillo online, or call our office today at 804-201-9459 to find out if dental implants can give you a new reason to smile.