Find out more about how implants actually do look and function like real teeth.
Are you thinking that dental implants might just be the best way to replace your missing teeth? If so, then chances are good that you want to know as much about this restoration as possible to make an informed decision about your tooth replacement options. Let our Salisbury, MD, dentist, Dr. Kathleen Geipe, answer some of the most popular questions we have about dental implants.
Q. What is a dental implant?
A. An implant is a small metal post or screw that is embedded in the jawbone to replace the roots of a missing tooth. While most people don’t realize it, the roots are an important component not only to the health of a tooth but also the strength of your jawbone.
When one or more teeth fall out, the bone doesn’t receive the stimulation it needs and will begin to deteriorate unless our Salisbury general dentist is able to replace the missing tooth roots with an implant, which will halt further bone loss.
Q. What kind of artificial tooth is used with implants?
A. Of course, a metal post doesn’t look anything like a real tooth so many people are a bit confused as to how this metal restoration could actually be the closest thing you could get to a real tooth.
An implant provides a long-term and durable foundation from which to support the false tooth. If you are only replacing a single tooth then a dental crown will be placed over the implant to complete your smile.
Q. How is a dental crown made?
A. The dental crown we use is the same hollow restoration used to cover a tooth that is damaged or has severe cosmetic flaws. The only difference is that instead of placing it over an existing tooth it will cover your implant.
Your crown will be custom-made to fit your mouth, so we will need to take impressions of your smile to ensure that the crown fits in the space where your missing tooth used to be. In the meantime, we may decide to place a temporary crown over the implant until your permanent crown is complete.
Q. What happens if the crown gets damaged?
A. While an implant is designed to last a lifetime with the proper care, the same can’t be said for a crown. While maintaining good oral hygiene will certainly ensure that your crown lasts as long as possible, at some point it may crack, break or fall off. When this happens, you will need to come into our office so that we can check the extent of the damage.
If the damage is minor we may be able to buff out the problem areas, but if the damage has affected the strength of the crown then we will need to replace it. You will go through the exact same process to get your replacement crown as you did your original crown.
Do you have questions about dental implants? Are you ready to schedule an appointment with our Salisbury, MD, restorative dentist to determine your candidacy for this treatment? Then let’s schedule your consultation. Call us today!