Missing teeth hurt more than facial appearance. Chewing and speaking suffer. Also, remaining teeth weaken and lose proper alignment. Gums and jawbone rapidly recede. Your solution may be dental implants from Ritchie Dental Group in Marble Falls. These artificial teeth look and act just like real teeth, and they can last a lifetime.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth. It has three parts: a titanium screw surgically placed in the jawbone, a metal abutment, or post, which extends above the gums and a porcelain crown. A dental implant device bonds right to natural bone through a process called osseointegration, and it is the secret to the success of this wonderful prosthetic.
Placed by Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies-trained implant dentist in Marble Falls Dr. Greg Ritchie, dental implants do not compromise surrounding teeth the way fixed bridgework or partial dentures can. Also, they have a decades-long lifespan unlike other tooth replacement options which may last only 7 to 10 years.
The best candidates for dental implants are:
- People with healthy gums and sufficient bone to support an implant
- Patients who do not smoke, as toxins in tobacco can cause an infection called peri-implantitis (which can necessitate implant removal)
- Individuals with a strong immune system
- Adults and older teens who consistently brush, floss and receive exams and cleanings at Ritchie Dental Group
The Dental Implant Process
The first step is a thorough dental examination to ensure good oral health and adequate bone density. Then, with GALILEOS 3D imaging, Dr. Ritchie surgically places the implant screw in just the right location in the bone, thereby minimizing discomfort and healing time. The dentist closes the surgical site, and the patient returns home for a period of healing.
After several weeks, the individual returns to Ritchie Dental Group. Dr. Ritchie places the extension post and custom-made porcelain crown. The doctor ensures the fit and bite are perfect.
At home, the dental implant patient should brush twice a day and floss daily as recommended by the American Dental Association and:
- Drink plenty of water daily to keep gums healthy and to reduce plaque build-up
- Eat a nutritious, low carbohydrate diet
- Quit smoking with the help of his or her primary care physician
- Come to Ritchie Dental Group twice a year for oral exams and hygienic cleanings
While professional cleanings for dental implants are not complex, your hygienist does use special handheld instruments to scale plaque and tartar from implant sites. This ensures that bacteria-filled plaque is removed completely.
Another great benefit of dental implants is that Dr. Ritchie may use them to support fixed bridgework or even fixed or removable dentures for a secure, no slip fit.
Are You Interested in Dental Implants?
No other tooth replacement option lasts like a dental implant. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons say that these artificial teeth succeed about 95 percent or the time or more. And with experts such as Dr. Greg Ritchie placing them, you can trust good results will happen.