Can dental implants fix and replace missing teeth?

The primary goal of a dental implant is to replace (not fix) missing teeth. If you have a damaged tooth, you need to consider if the damaged tooth can be saved. The best type of tooth is a natural tooth, so you should make all possible attempts to save your natural teeth. If you have cavities, you can get fillings, root canals, or dental crowns to protect your teeth. And if your teeth are damaged, you can get fillings, onlays/ inlays, crowns, or other procedures to save your teeth from complete decay. But if your teeth simply can’t be saved or they increase the risk of dental problems in surrounding teeth, you may need to have them removed.

If you’re missing one or several teeth, you can consider numerous teeth replacement options, such as dental bridges, complete/ partial dentures, and dental implants. Out of all of these teeth replacement options, dental implants are widely considered the best means of replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are the best for one major reason — they replace the root structures of your missing teeth, not just the visible crown. Most other teeth replacement options, such as bridges and dentures, focus on the external visual appearance. They replace the crowns of the missing teeth, so it might seem like you have all of your teeth, but they don’t provide the same stability or functionality as natural teeth.

But dental implants restore the root structures of your missing teeth, thus offering a firm and stable base for your teeth. The dental implant dentist screws the titanium post into the jawbone underneath the missing tooth’s empty socket, where it bonds with the surrounding jawbone tissues, becoming an integrated part of your dental anatomy. After a period of six months, the dental implant is indistinguishable from natural teeth and can support the same kinds of load. The dental implant dentist can attach a bridge or denture to the implants to replace the crowns of your teeth while ensuring optimal stability and bite force. That’s why you can use dental implants to replace missing teeth.

What happens when you get a tooth implant?

During the dental implant procedure, the dental implant dentist surgically screws the titanium implant into the jawbone underneath the empty socket of the missing tooth. Once the titanium implant is placed, your body starts the osseointegration process. Osseointegration is a natural process whereby the jawbone tissues gradually fuse and merge with the titanium implant, making it a firmly rooted part of your dental anatomy. The entire osseointegration process may last for 6 months or more, depending on your body’s healing rate, but you don’t actively feel this happening.

Once the osseointegration is complete, the dental implant dentist attaches the dental abutment to the titanium screw. After attaching the dental abutment, the gingival tissues start healing around the implant site, following which the dentist can attach the dental prosthetics, such as the dental crowns, dental bridges, or dentures. Once the dental prosthetic is attached to the implant, the dental implant process is considered to be complete. You can proceed with your daily activities, eat whatever you want, and you don’t have to worry about your teeth slipping or sliding out of place.

How long do tooth implants last? Is a tooth implant permanent?

Dental implants are supposed to last a lifetime. Most patients can make their dental implants last a lifetime without problems or complications. But you must maintain optimal oral hygiene after the dental implant procedure. You must brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, rinse your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash, and go for regular dental cleanings. You need to maintain optimal oral hygiene because gum inflammation and bacterial infections can increase the risk of peri-implantitis, a condition that may eventually lead to the loss of the implant. As such, you can certainly make dental implants last a lifetime, provided you maintain optimal oral hygiene.

Can dental implants be done in one day?

Generally speaking, the entire dental implant process, from the initial consultation to the final restoration, may take several months and involve multiple sessions. Your dental implant process starts with your initial consultation, i.e., when the dental implant dentist takes x-rays to determine your candidacy for the procedure. If you’re not the ideal candidate for the procedure, you may need some preparation steps, such as tooth extractions, bone grafts for dental implants, sinus lifts, and others. After preparation, the dental implant dentist will perform the dental implant surgery, following which you have to wait for several months for osseointegration, following which you receive the dental implant abutment and prosthetics.

But thanks to recent advancements in dental implant techniques, some patients can receive implants in one day. Same-day dental implants are done in one single session ranging from 30 minutes to 3 hours in duration, depending on the number of implants. After placing the dental implants, the dentist may attach temporary prosthetics, so you can walk out of the dental clinic with a full set of teeth. However, you will only receive permanent prosthetics after the healing period is over, so you still need another session. As such, even in the most optimal conditions, you need at least 2 to 3 sessions spaced a few months apart.

What is the single tooth implant cost?

The cost of a single tooth implant depends on numerous factors, including the type of implant, the location of the missing tooth, whether you need any preparation, the type of dental restoration, and other factors. URBN Dental maintains the highest standards of service and is led by a highly-skilled team of dental implant dentists in Houston. Please schedule an appointment with one of the best teeth implant dentists near me in Houston to explore your dental implant options.