Dental implants are recognized as the most advanced tooth replacement method. These small titanium posts are surgically embedded in the jaw, providing unrivaled support for dental crowns, dentures, and bridges. Dr. Shaun Bivens and our highly trained team can coordinate every stage of your dental implants treatment at our Mt. Juliet, TN, practice. We offer customized restorations using the strongest, most natural-looking materials such as zirconia and IPS e.max®.
What Are Dental Implants?
In essence, dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Once implants have been placed during a surgical procedure, the posts undergo a process known as osseointegration. This means that the implants fuse with the surrounding bone tissue to become a permanent part of your anatomy. Your crown, bridge, or denture is then affixed to the post or posts. In this way, an implant-supported restoration can replace the entire structure of your tooth, from root to chewing surface.
Implants essentially act as replacement tooth roots, providing incredible stability for your restoration.
Determining Your Candidacy
Ideal candidates for dental implants are in good oral health and have strong, dense bone tissue at the treatment site. For patients who lack sufficient jawbone tissue, we can also coordinate bone grafting procedures to restore your candidacy for this procedure.
With proper care, dental implants can provide a lifetime of stable support for your restoration.
During your initial consultation, the doctor will take x-rays and scans using a cone beam scanner to assess the health of your jaw. Your doctor will also perform a comprehensive examination of your oral health and recommend treatment for any underlying health concerns before beginning treatment.
Benefits of Implant-Supported Restorations
Replacing missing teeth with dental implants provides a wide range of advantages over other restoration methods, such as traditional removable dentures. These include:
- Improved pronunciation
- Ability to enjoy all your favorite foods
- Confidence knowing your restoration will never slip out of place
- No need for messy dental adhesives
In addition to restoring the appearance and functionality of your smile, dental implants can also protect your overall oral health. When teeth are lost or extracted, the jawbone begins to deteriorate, which can threaten the stability of surrounding teeth. Since implants act as artificial tooth roots, an implant-supported restoration can prevent jawbone atrophy and protect the health of remaining teeth.
The Treatment Process
Before you begin treatment, you will discuss available sedation methods and other specifics so you know exactly what to expect. You may receive one or several posts, depending on the size of your restoration.
Placing Your Implants
Once you are relaxed and the treatment site has been numbed, your surgeon will create a small opening in your gum tissue. He will then make space in the jaw and embed the implants before closing the incision with sutures. In some cases, a temporary restoration may be attached. It typically takes three to six months for the posts to fuse with the jawbone. Dr. Bivens will monitor your progress at regular follow-up appointments.
Attaching Your Permanent Restoration
Once you are fully healed, your doctor will uncover the top of the implants and attach abutments, or connector pieces. Next, we will take impressions so our dental laboratory can design your new restoration. The fabrication process may take up to two weeks. When your customized crown, bridge, or denture is ready, you can return to our office for its placement. Dr. Bivens will check the fit and feel of your restoration. If you are satisfied with the result, he can attach the restoration to the implant posts for a fully restored smile. Although it may require replacement after several years, with proper care, your implants can last a lifetime.
Restore Your Smile
If you suffer from missing teeth, an implant-supported restoration from Dr. Bivens can enhance your confidence and provide protection against additional oral health issues in the future. To learn more about dental implants and our other restorative services, contact our office using our online form or call (615) 773-8882.