Dental Implants

For patients looking for a permanent solution for missing teeth other than dentures, we encourage you to learn more about dental implants in Bristol, VA and Blountville, TN. Dental implants not only replace one or more teeth, but they also provide stability and strength to other dental appliances. Typically implants are made from titanium metal and serve as artificial tooth roots. They can be placed during dental surgery into the jaws (upper or lower) and look extremely natural. These types of dental restorations are strong, durable, and stable.  They can last decades, although they may occasionally require re-tightening or replacement because of normal “wear and tear.”
 
There are numerous reasons why a patient may wish to consider dental implants:
 
* Allows you to replace a single tooth without affecting the surrounding teeth
* Can improve joint or bite problems that can often result in shifting teeth after a tooth loss
* Helps restore patient confidence in their smile
* Restores the patient’s ability to chew, speak, and digest efficiently
* Can enhance or restore facial tissues
* Support existing dentures or bridges and provides a more comfortable and secure fit
 
The process of installing dental implants happens over several months and requires a series of visits to the dental office. Step one is for the dentist to take x-rays and dental molds of the jaws and teeth. These will be used to determine if there is enough space, gum tissue, and bone for the placement of dental implants. Once it’s determined that there is, the surgery process begins by numbing the area, and the implant is surgically placed into the bone. It is then left to heal and integrate into the mouth for a period of approximately six months. There are various types of implants and depending on the type, some patients may require a second surgery to place a post or abutment that will later be used to hold the false tooth or teeth in place. Some patients can have this done during the initial surgery while others require it to be a two-step process.
 
It can take weeks several weeks for the dental implants to heal and for the laboratory to fabricate the new false teeth.  Once ready, there may be several fittings over a period of time, typically a month or two, to make sure the fit is just right. Once the implants are successfully healed and ready for restoration, the artificial teeth are attached to the implant and the process is finished.