One or more missing teeth can negatively impact your quality of life. Not only do missing teeth leave gaps in your smile, but they can pose a risk for your overall oral health and wellbeing. Patients in the Fairhope, AL area looking to restore their smile and protect existing teeth and gums can receive dental implant treatments from Dr. Aaron Avery at Fairhope Bay Dental. Dr. Avery has years of experience and has been passionate about oral surgery and patient comfort since the beginning of his career. Let Dr. Avery help you permanently restore your smile with dental implants.
Dental Implants are Safe and Effective
Dental implants are free-standing restorations to permanently replace a lost tooth. Made of titanium or a titanium alloy, the implant acts as an artificial tooth root and is placed directly where the prior tooth root was located. Implant procedures are safe and have been widely used and studied in the dental industry for over 50 years.
The Many Benefits of Dental Implants
When you are facing tooth loss after an injury or dental extraction, there are several reasons to consider dental implants as your first choice for restoration:
- Protection against bone loss: Dental implants can preserve the health and strength of your jawbone. Tooth roots are firmly planted in the jawbones, and losing a tooth root can actually weaken the bone in that area of the jaw. An implant can proactively protect against bone loss and stabilize the jaw bone.
- Permanent solution: Dental implants are considered permanent solutions. Bridges often require replacement every 8-10 years, but a titanium implant can typically last forever.
- Natural appearance: Dental implants can maintain the natural look of your gums and smile. Custom dental crowns created to seamlessly blend with your smile are securely connected to the implant once it has healed. After the entire restorative procedure is completed, your implant will be undetectable.
- Maintained lifestyle: Replacing missing teeth can improve speech and allow for eating and drinking without special restrictions. After dental implants acclimate to your mouth, they function just like natural teeth.
What to Expect
The procedure for placing dental implants varies depending on each patient’s unique situation. Before any treatment begins, Dr. Avery will perform an evaluation and create a custom treatment plan. Typically, patients undergoing dental implant treatment can expect many of the following steps:
- If a damaged tooth is still intact, the dentist will perform a dental extraction.
- A jawbone examination will determine the strength and health of the existing bone tissues. A bone graft may be needed to strengthen the bone and prepare it for an implant placement. Bone grafting is a procedure in which your dentist will use donor tissue to fill in areas of deficiencies. Afterwards, your jaw is given plenty of time to heal before further steps are taken.
- Once the bone graft has fully healed, your dentist places the dental implant in the jawbone.
- A several month waiting period (usually lasting 4-6 months) follows. This time allows your jaw and mouth to heal and acclimate to the new implant (a process called osseointegration). This period is crucial for ensuring the implant placement is successful and will be a permanent solution.
- Finally, an abutment — a connector to join the implant and crown — is placed at the gum line on top of the implant. Afterwards (or sometimes during the same procedure) the final dental crown is securely placed on the implant.
After Dr. Avery completes the implant placement procedure, you can eat, drink, and speak as you normally would. Caring for your new implant and crown is just as simple as caring for your natural teeth: twice daily cleanings at home, with routine dental cleanings and check-ups twice a year.
Dr. Avery and our staff at Fairhope Bay Dental look forward to helping you create the smile you desire. Contact our Fairhope office to schedule a consultation to learn more about dental implants and other restorative dentistry services we offer. Call us at 905-333-8888.