What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants. You've heard of them. You know they really help people restore their smiles. However, what exactly are they, and how do dental implantsthey work? Your Roanoke and Rocky Mount, VA, dentist, Dr. Young Park, places single-tooth implants and implant-supported overdentures. These premiere tooth replacements recreate lifelike smile appearance and oral function. Are they right for you?

Tooth loss

Losing even one tooth changes how well an individual bites and chews, and of course, a smile gap impacts personal appearance and self-confidence. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry states that the world notices a smile before any other physical attribute, and if it's an attractive smile, the owner is perceived as confident, personable and even smart.

Additionally, tooth loss weakens the teeth surrounding the gap. Speech slurs and bone and gum tissue recede, changing bite height and aging facial appearance. Yes, the effects of tooth loss are wide-ranging.

Enter the dental implant

For generations, dentists have replaced missing teeth with conventional bridges and dentures. While these assist oral function and personal appearance, they do nothing to maintain gums and bone.

However, back in the 1960s, a physician named Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark developed and placed the first dental implant. Decades later, modern implants have restored millions of smiles for patients of all ages and walks of life.

What Branemark discovered was a process called osseointegration, says the American Dental Association. It's the means whereby the titanium implant screw melds to the jaw bone where the natural tooth previously resided. Research shows that human bone and titanium have a natural attraction for each other, and so dental implants anchor strongly and permanently to a jaw that's sufficiently sized and dense.

Once placed and healed, a dental implant will stay in the jaw and function for years--even decades. The patient just brushes and flosses it just like his or her natural teeth. Plus, Dr. Park asks his implant patients come to Park Dental Solutions every six months for check-ups and hygienic cleanings to keep the implant sites clean and healthy.

The treatment in Roanoke and Rocky Mount

Could you qualify for a dental implant or an implant-supported prosthetic? Dr. Park can tell you if your oral health is good enough and if you have adequate jaw bone density to receive the implant device.

If all is well, expect the implant process to take several weeks to months. It's not painful--most patients do fine with local anesthetic--and the initial treatment involves a simple insertion of the titanium implant screw into the jaw. As the implant site heals, or osseointegrates, it strengthens, allowing for placement of the metal extension post and crown which complete this artificial tooth.

Learn more

Change your smile aesthetics and oral function for the better. Contact your Roanoke and Rocky Mount, VA, dentist, Dr. Park, for a one on one consultation. He'll give you all the details and help you decide dental implants are right for you. Call today. For the Roanoke office, phone (540) 563-9398, and for Rocky Mount, call (540) 483-7577.

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