Usually, when you lose a tooth, it is best for your oral health to have it replaced.  Missing teeth can affect your “bite” as well as your ability to speak and chew.  Their loss can increase the burden on your remaining teeth and can cause muscle pain in your jaws and headaches.  And of course, losing a tooth can affect your appearance.

Most of the time, replacing a missing tooth is not an emergency.  You have time to consider what replacement option is best for you and to make an informed decision.

If you are considering dental implants, your mouth will be examined thoroughly and your dental and medical history will be reviewed to ensure that dental implants are appropriate for you.  Dental x-rays and possibly a panoramic x-ray will be taken to evaluate your jawbone and to determine if it will accommodate implants.  Often times, patients who have been using conventional dentures will have bone loss in the area where teeth are missing requiring the surgeon to graft bone to the areas to strengthen it for placement of a dental implant.

Dental implants have been used successfully for more than twenty years, and are often the best option for replacing a missing tooth or teeth.  Dental implants are composed of titanium metal that “fuses” with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration.  Because dental implants fuse with the jawbone, future bone loss is generally not a problem.  When properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Your dental implant treatment will be carefully coordinated with your restorative dentist.  After your oral and maxillofacial surgeon surgically places your implant(s) and the implant(s) has stabilized in the jaw, your restorative dentist will take an impression of your upper and lower jaws.  This impression is used to make the model from which your denture or crowns are created.

The teamwork between you, your oral and maxillofacial surgeon and restorative dentist will continue long after your implant and denture or crown has been placed.  Follow up examinations with the oral and maxillofacial surgeon and restorative dentist are very important to your continued progress and success.