Whether you are missing a front tooth or a back tooth, you are not alone! It is estimated that at least half of Americans over the age of 18 are missing at least one tooth. While there are a number of options you have when you are missing a tooth, dental implants are the most advanced treatment that our North Scottsdale practice offers to replace your missing tooth. With a predictably high success rate, dental implants do not develop decay and they maintain your existing bone structure to help prevent the appearance of premature aging due to jaw shrinkage. There are also no age restrictions on having dental implants, with patients in their teens as well as in their 90’s rejuvenating their smiles.
Dental implants can replace a single missing tooth, allowing you to eliminate unnecessary treatment on adjacent teeth. When you have multiple missing teeth, a dental implant can be used either as an anchor for removable partial dentures or as retainers for a permanent bridge. The process for an implant is the same, whether you are replacing only one tooth or multiple teeth.
It does not matter if you have been missing a tooth for quite some time or you are going to have a tooth extracted now, because dental implants can work for you. Although many people are concerned about pain and discomfort during their dental implant treatment, many people report that they have no pain during or after their dental implant treatment appointments. Of the people who do report slight discomfort, the pain is frequently less than with a tooth extraction. In addition, there is only a minimal amount of bleeding after your dental implant is placed.
The first step of restoring your smile with a dental implant, at our North Scottsdale practice, is to have the actual implant placed in your bone. After creating a small pilot hole, a titanium screw is placed in a position that not only will allow for the most aesthetic final restoration but also will create the highest amount of integration with your bone structure. A flat temporary cap is placed over the dental implant, allowing your dental implant to become securely anchored to your bone and your gum tissues to grow back thicker and healthier. In most cases, the temporary cap is not visible during this healing time and you may choose to wear a temporary prosthesis or “flipper” that gives the appearance of a tooth in your mouth.
The second step of your implant process occurs after your bone has solidified around your implant. Dr. Mark Davis will remove the temporary cap from your dental implant and use a small metal impression coping, or post, for taking an impression of your mouth and dental implant. Most patients do not need to be numb for this appointment, as any discomfort that you may feel is extremely minimal. With this impression, Dr. Mark Davis can fabricate a custom abutment and crown for your tooth. The custom abutment is similar to a metal lego-like attachment that will serve to connect your dental implant to your final crown. After your impression, Dr. Mark Davis will place a healing abutment on your implant, which will slightly protrude above your dental implant to allow your gum tissues to shape themselves for pleasing aesthetics with your final crown. If you had been wearing a temporary prosthesis, you can continue wearing it during the final wait for your new crown.
After your custom abutment and crown are fabricated, North Scottsdale restorative dentist, Dr. Mark Davis will simply unscrew the healing abutment from your dental implant, then screw in your custom abutment and cement your final crown. For this final step, you do not need to be numb at all. You will leave after your last appointment with a fully functional, natural-looking crown on your dental implant!
If you live in the North Scottsdale, Anthem, Carefree, Cave Creek, or Tempe area and are interested in learning more about dental implants contact David Dentistry today!