Once, you had a perfect set of teeth--even, white and strong. Then, you lost a tooth in a bike accident, leaving an unsightly gap. Don't despair. Dr. Gregory Herzler uses dental implants in his Saginaw, MI, office to close gaps created by decay, abscess, injury or congenital absence. You can have a great smile again!
What is a dental implant?
It's an artificial tooth, but its location makes it superior to conventional tooth replacements. The titanium screw implant resides in the jaw bone, melding with it through a natural process dentists call osseointegration. Osseointegration creates a strong bond with the jaw, closely approximating the stability and durability of a real tooth root.
Traditional dentures and bridges only set on top of the gums, doing nothing to exercise or improve jaw bone integrity. Dental implants, however, strengthen the jaw, improve gum tissue and mimic natural oral function every time the patient bites and chews. Plus, dental implants are incredibly realistic in appearance.
Can you get one?
Dental implants may be right for you. Multiple implants can be used to support dentures and fixed bridgework, too, so patients with substantial tooth loss can enjoy the benefits of a restored smile.
To determine if these amazing prosthetics would help you, Dr. Herzler will perform a complete oral examination, including digital X-rays. Your oral and systemic health must be good, and your jawbone has to be dense enough to support the titanium implant screw. If your mouth checks out, digital or oral impressions help the dental lab fabricate your porcelain crown.
The dental implant process in Saginaw
The dental implant procedure is comfortable and easy. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area surrounding the empty tooth socket, the gums are incised and a small hole is drilled into the jaw. Next, the implant is inserted into the bone and the area is sutured closed. You'll spend the next several weeks healing, taking care not to chew or bite on the implant as it integrates with your jaw.
When you return to Dr. Herzler's office, he'll check the site and if all is OK, attach a metal extension post and porcelain crown to complete the implant treatment. As you live with your implant, you'll appreciate its lifelike feel and function. Plus, that embarrassing smile gap will be gone for good.
Miscellaneous facts about dental implants
- Dental implants do cost more than traditional tooth replacements. However, they rarely fail or need replacement, says the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness.
- You care for your implants just as you do your natural teeth: brush twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and avoid tartar.
- Smoking harms implant sites. So, see your doctor about a tobacco cessation program.
Find out more
Bring yourself--and that gap--to Dr. Herzler and his professional team. You'll get all the information you need on dental implants and how they can help your smile. Call for an appointment in Saginaw, MI: (989) 793-7733.