Implants are state-of-the-art treatment for single tooth replacement as well as improving the function of dentures. The defining feature of dental implants that make them so special is that they replace not only the portion of the tooth you normally see in the mouth, but also the root which is the support system for a natural tooth. The importance of this is that it allows you to maintain your facial profile, where if the root is not replaced we can see bone loss and a shrunken facial profile. A dental implant is a small titanium post that is placed and integrates with the bone in your jaw to provide a stability and function similar to a natural tooth. Typically, the minimal surgical procedure is completed under local anesthesia, which is usually all that is needed for a pain free experience. Treatment can all be completed by Dr. Hilbrands at Brookings Family Dentistry.
If you have a single missing tooth the most ideal treatment to restore beauty and function is often an implant. After an implant is placed, 4-6 months of healing is needed for the bone to form around the implant to provide stability similar to a natural tooth. After the healing period, a metal abutment(looks like a tooth prepared for a crown) and new crown will be fabricated to produce a seamless smile for you.
One of the biggest complaints of complete dentures is their movement and the patient's difficulty with eating and speech. Implants placed into the bone allow a connection to improve retention, increase your quality of life, and confidence in your dentures. Ideally 6 implants are needed for the top arch and 3-4 implants for the lower arch to provide the necessary support and retention.
Socket preservation, simply described is filling an extraction site with bone. By placing bone grafting material in an extraction site it allows for the space to fill in with bone versus the food you eat after an extraction. This allows the bone level to stay the same as before an extraction versus losing bone at the site. Indications for socket preservation include either an implant, bridge, or denture in the future.