Lexington KY Dental Implants
If you’re missing any teeth, a dental implant might be your answer. Dental implants have many advantages over other tooth replacement options since they’re a lot like your natural teeth.
What are they?
Dental implants are tooth replacements made by your dentist. They can be used to replace a single tooth, or all of your teeth, and they’re the closest procedure that can be done to mimic your natural teeth. Anything you can do with your existing teeth, you’ll be able to do with implants.
What’s the process?
The implant procedure is performed in two parts. In the first part, Dr. Arnold will surgically place a root form into your jawbone. This works as your substitute tooth root. Once it’s placed, you’ll need some time to heal before the second phase. During the healing time, a process called osseointegration will happen, which is required for the implant to work. Your bone will grow around the implant and secure it to your jaw.
The second part takes place after the osseointegration is complete. Once the root form is solid, we’ll place a porcelain crown on top of it which will perfectly match your other teeth.
The process is a bit more in depth if we’re replacing all of your teeth. Usually, the entire set of teeth is included in one piece, which is then attached to the implants.
Advantages over dentures.
Before implants, the treatment for a person missing all of their teeth was removable dentures. However, there are significant problems with dentures, and we don’t recommend them. Here are some of those issues that occur with dentures, but not with implants:
Dentures rest on movable tissue, so they move when you speak or chew. They can even fall out, which can be inconvenient and embarrassing.
Facial collapse is the most serious consequence that dentures can cause. When your teeth are removed, your body knows it and begins to break down the minerals in your jawbone to use in other parts of your body. This means your jawbone will start to shrink. Eventually, your face will have a collapsed appearance. With little jawbone left, there’s no place for your dentures to sit, and you won’t be able to wear them.
As your jawbone shrinks, it increases the pressure of the denture on the jawbone. It will progress to the point that all that is left in your lower jaw is a sharp ridge that tends to develop sore spots easily, no matter how well your denture is made.
Dentures can also reduce your chewing efficiency by 50%. Over time, as your body breaks down more of your jawbone, that level of efficiency continues to decrease. You may even have to give up some of your favorite foods.
Implants don’t just work for visible missing teeth. Sometimes, your teeth don’t grow in properly. In the example above, this patient was missing her lateral incisor. Dr. Arnold used an orthodontic treatment to make some space, and then used an implant to replace it.
Make an Appointment
Now that you know all about implants, what are you waiting for? If you’re in need of a tooth replacement, or you still have questions– call our office to schedule and appointment. We’ll do an exam and discuss your options.
Ever since he was little Dr. J. Fred Arnold wanted to be a dentist. He has lived in Kentucky all of his life, except for three years he spent serving in the Air Force (1984-1987). He and his wife Holly have raised their family here and couldn’t imagine spending life anywhere else. They love the great schools and the emphasis on arts and culture.