For our patients who need to replace a tooth or several teeth, dental implants may be the answer. Implants are permanent, unlike dentures, and they do not have to be anchored to other teeth, like bridges. Implants also are not susceptible to decay and will last longer than natural teeth.
A dental implant is a man-made titanium root replacement (anchor) placed in the jaw bone. An abutment (usually titanium) is then secured to the implant and a crown is fabricated and secured to the abutment with either a titanium screw or dental cement. The result is a tooth that looks and acts like a natural tooth.
Candidates for dental implants should have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. When there is not enough bone in the jaw, you may still be a candidate but may need to have the bone rebuilt. If you are considering implants, you must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
People who are not good candidates for dental implants include young people whose jaw bones have not stopped developing. Heavy smokers are also not good candidates, as smoking inhibits the healing that is necessary for the implant process.
In addition, those patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, or immune deficiencies, or those who have received radiation treatments in the head and neck area, may not be good candidates for dental implants. Patients with these conditions would have to be evaluated individually.
Dr. Steve Johns has over 30 years of training and experience in creating dental implants. We not only place the implant, but also complete the restoration process. Experience is important in selecting your implant dentist. Dr. Johns has gone through a rigorous credentialing process.