Dental Implants: Closest Replacement to Natural Teeth

A dental implant is the best option to replace a missing tooth. Implants are the only dental restoration to replace both the root and the crown of the tooth. Dentists may use dental implants to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or an entire arch.

Dental implants are a permanent non-removable option to replace one or more missing teeth. Teeth that are restored with dental implants feel and function like your natural teeth. The key to a successful dental implant procedure is careful planning and experience.

Sometimes, your dentist will need to perform a procedure before placing the implant. For instance, a bone graft can replace missing bone structure to strengthen the area before placing the implant. Experienced implant dentists have expertise in preparatory procedures to prepare the mouth for an implant if needed. Fortunately, Dr. Jeffrey Gregson places dental implants in New Orleans and Metairie, LA.

Patient Testimonial: Drs. Green and Gregson are the Two Best Dentists

“I want to thank them for everything they did to restore my dental situation to an absolutely great smile, and great alignment in my jaw.”

–Jim, Patient at Green Gregson Family Dentistry

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is an artificial replacement for a tooth root, usually made from titanium. The small threaded titanium posts integrate as a permanent part of your jaw. In due time, your new implant will serve as a solid base for esthetic, lifelike restorations.

There are many different implant systems available, and when competently used, they all deliver a highly predictable restorative procedure

The main aim during the placement of an implant is to achieve immediate close contact with the surrounding bone. Over time further growth of bone onto the implant surface enhances the stability of the implant. To support replacement teeth, dental implants normally have an internal screw thread or post space that allows various components to be fitted. Once fitted, these components provide the foundation for long-term support of crowns, bridges, or dentures.

Typically, a dental crown is supported by one post, a bridge by two or more posts, and a full implant-supported denture by four or more posts. Abutments are then affixed to the tops of the implants to hold your restorations in place securely. The abutments and your dental implants create a lasting solution for tooth loss, and with proper care, can last a lifetime.

The Structure of a Dental Implant

Advantages of Dental Implants

Aside from the obvious oral health benefits, implants deliver a wide array of additional advantages. Our dental implants in Metairie, LA offer several advantages:

Can Dental Implants Preserve Bone?

This is one of the most important features of dental implants. Once in place and supporting teeth, everyday functional forces (eating, smiling, talking) stimulate the surrounding bone, which responds by becoming stronger and more dense. Like all things, there are limits as to how much an implant can do. For that reason, you may require one or more procedures to prepare your oral cavity for implantation. 

Preparing for a Dental Implant

Before having dental implants placed, our dentists will follow routine steps to assess your oral, medical and general health. He will carefully examine your oral cavity, including the area of your mouth where the potential implant is to be placed. Further, Dr. Gregson will assess your bite and evaluate any esthetic concerns.

Additionally, we will take digital x-rays with our dental cone beam scanner. The cone beam computed tomography, or CBCT provides a view below the gum line. At this point, we can determine if you require any preparatory procedures to increase the chances of successful treatment.

Some common preparatory procedures include:

One or more restorative procedures may be necessary to prepare your oral cavity. On the other hand, some can simply improve the longevity or durability of your results.

Dental Cone Beam CT Imaging

Dental Implant vs Dental Bridge

Both a bridge and a dental implant are solutions for replacing one or more missing teeth. 

A traditional dental bridge provides a replacement tooth by using teeth adjacent to the missing tooth for support. Teeth adjacent to the missing tooth (or teeth) will need to be reduced, which may compromise the healthy teeth.

Since a bridge does not replace the missing root structure, you may still be at risk of bone loss over time. Additionally, keeping a bridge clean requires frequent cleaning to prevent bacteria buildup.

Another option is a dental implant, which serves as an artificial root, anchoring the replacement tooth in place. This also helps protect and preserve the area from tissue loss and recession. An implant can be cared for just like any natural tooth. It also does not require the removal of healthy tooth structure from the neighboring teeth to support it.

After Dental Procedure

After your dental implant and healing cap is placed, it is important to follow these care instructions to promote proper healing and ensure its long-term success. Immediately after your procedure, it’s important to listen and adhere to your doctor’s recovery instructions for the type of anesthetic used. For the first hour after the procedure, gently bite down on the gauze that was placed over the implant site. If bleeding continues after one hour, place fresh sterile gauze over the site and reapply pressure for another 30 minutes. If bleeding returns, rinse carefully with cold water and apply a fresh gauze. Do not rinse vigorously as this could prolong bleeding. (504) 849-0190 For the first 24 to 48 hours, avoid excessive chewing, spitting, rinsing and physical activity. You can take an over-the-counter pain relie Be sure to drink lots of water, but don’t use a straw for at least 48 hours after the procedure, as suction could cause bleeding to occur. Also, don’t smoke for at least a week, as this can also cause bleeding and hinder healing. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and side of the face is common and may peak two or three days after the procedure. Ice packs can be used to help with swelling and after 24 hours you can gently rinse with warm salt water three times per day to reduce pain and swelling. Propping up your head with pillows when lying down will aid both swelling and bleeding. For the next seven to ten days, you should eat soft foods that require minimal chewing and drink plenty of cool fluids. Then you can resume a normal diet, but avoid chewing on the implant site, until your permanent restoration is attached. A special healing cap is placed over the top of the implant and assists in healing the surrounding gum tissue. The healing cap is temporary and is meant to be removed by your doctor when your mouth is fully healed and ready for your permanent restoration. To protect the healing cap during the healing process, you should take extra care when eating, brushing and flossing. Consult with your doctor to determine which type of toothbrush is the best for you to use. Additional brushes may be recommended that help clean the hard to reach areas around the implant. If your healing cap comes off, call your doctor’s office to schedule a time to reattach it. Additionally, if you experience persistent pain or bleeding outside of the norm after your procedure, it is important to contact your doctor’s office for assistance.

Replace Your Missing Teeth

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