Phoenix Dentist

Dental ImplantsPhoenix, AZ

A dental implant might be recommended when a patient is missing one or more teeth. Tooth loss is a common issue that affects most people at some point in life. It might be the result of an injury that leads to the tooth falling out, gum disease or tooth decay.

Dental implants are artificial teeth roots that replace the roots of lost teeth. They are screws or rods that are inserted into a patient’s jaw, and they serve as foundations for artificial teeth that replace the lost ones. Implants are popular with cosmetic dentists thanks to the great aesthetics they provide.

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The benefits of replacing a missing tooth with an implant include:

  • Looks natural: A dental implant feels and looks like a real tooth. It is virtually impossible to tell when a person has an implant
  • Clearer speech: Implants fuse with the bone tissues around them, making them a solid base for any restoration attached to them. This is a huge contrast from other oral prosthetics like dentures, which are known for shifting when worn, making it more challenging to speak or eat with them
  • More comfortable solution: Implants being stable in the mouth makes them more comfortable. Implants will not irritate soft tissues in the mouth by rubbing up against them like dentures often do
  • Improved nutrition: People who have implants can enjoy a wide range of foods due to the stability of the restoration. They do not have to avoid sticky or chewy foods to prevent their artificial teeth from coming out of their mouth as they eat
  • Improved confidence: People who wear implants do not have to worry about their restoration falling out of their mouth or those they interact with being able to tell they have an artificial tooth. This allows them to confidently showcase their improved smile anywhere they go
  • Improved oral health: Implants do not require making alterations to adjacent teeth like dental bridges, which involve using the teeth closest to the space left by missing teeth with crowns. Crowning a tooth requires removing enamel from all four sides, which permanently changes the tooth and alters its appearance. Bridges can also make it more difficult to clean the tight spaces between teeth
  • Longevity: Implants are typically made from titanium, which is the strongest metal on the planet. These artificial teeth roots can last an entire lifetime, especially when the wearer practices good dental hygiene
  • Improved convenience: Implants are teeth replacement options that do not require any special care, unlike dentures and dental bridges. The former needs to be cleaned daily and soaked in denture solution, while the former makes it more challenging to clean and floss teeth

The ideal candidate for implants

The ideal candidate for a dental implant should be healthy enough to recover from the surgical procedure used to insert the restoration into their jaw. The patient’s jawbone should be thick enough to hold implants in place, and their gums should be healthy.

Patients with health conditions like immune system disorders or diabetes will have to be evaluated on an individual basis since these chronic issues can make it more challenging for them to recover from implant surgery. The same goes for heavy drinkers, smokers and those on medications that thin out their blood. Radiation therapy can also affect how a person’s body recovers after getting an implant inserted in their jaw.

Patients who do not have the jawbone thickness needed for implants can bolster these tissues with bone grafts. They will need to be fully recovered to proceed with implants. It takes about three months to heal after their installation.

The process

Cosmetic dentists often recommend implants when a patient has a missing tooth. The process starts with the dentist drawing up a customized plan for the person. The plan is crafted to address all of the issues the patient is dealing with. The process sometimes involves a dentist working with other oral professionals like an oral surgeon to deliver the best solution possible for the patient.

If the patient is cleared for an implant, a date is set for the installation. During the procedure, a screw or rod is placed into a hole drilled in the patient’s jaw. Incisions might be made into gum tissues to access the implant. Any incision made is closed up to end the first stage of the process. It can take up to 12 weeks to recover from the surgical installation of implants.

The implant will begin to fuse with bone tissues around it during that period through the process of osseointegration. This turns the implant into part of the patient’s jaw, leading to excellent stability. It can take up to six months for the process of osseointegration to be completed.

Once the implant has adequately bonded with the patient’s jawbone, the patient comes in for a second appointment. The incision made during the first stage might be reopened to reach the implant. An abutment is placed on the implant to serve as a base for an artificial tooth or a restoration.

The dentist then takes an impression of the patient’s bite. This is used to design their artificial teeth in a lab. It can take up to two weeks for the completed product to get back to a dentist.

The patient comes in for a third appointment when their restoration is ready. The dentist fits it on the abutment and makes any needed alterations to ensure the patient’s artificial tooth looks natural. Implants can be fitted with crowns, dentures or bridges depending on the patient’s needs. The color of the restoration will be matched with the patient’s teeth to ensure the artificial teeth look natural.

Restore your smile with implants

Implants are the only dental restorations that prevent the bone tissue loss that occurs when teeth fall out. This prevents the facial changes that take place as jaw tissues break down, like wrinkles forming around the mouth or a sunken look. Implants do not require special care, allowing you to get back to how life was before you lost one or more teeth.

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Phoenix Family Dentistry is located at
13821 N. 35th Drive, Ste. 2
Phoenix, AZ

(602) 362-7061