At Creekside Family Dental we try to save every natural tooth, but in some cases a tooth must be extracted. There are options to replace missing teeth and often the best choice is an implant. For a successful implant, a patient must have proper bone density and a strong immune system.
The best way to describe a dental implant is to compare it to a real tooth. A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. Beneath the crown is the root, which anchors the tooth through the gum tissue into the jawbone. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the crown and the root. To replace the tooth we must first replace the root. The implant is a new root made from titanium, chosen for it's strength and acceptance by the body. The implant is implanted and allowed it to heal/integrate for three to six months. At that point, the dentist will design a custom crown to replace that portion of your tooth.
Another option to replace a missing tooth is a permanent bridge. If there are teeth on either side of your missing tooth, that have good bone support, they can be used as anchor (or retainer) teeth. This procedure usually a single appointment where the anchor teeth are prepared and a bridge is milled in the office. Larger bridges (more than three teeth) are prepared in the office, impressions are taken and sent to a lab where a custom bridge is made just for you. In approximately 2 weeks your bridge is ready to be permanently cemented into your mouth.
Our dentists and staff will be glad to help you decide which of these treatments is right for your needs. We believe the best decisions are made with good information and assistance.