Over the past 40 years, dental implants have achieved a 95% success rate in replacing missing teeth as a permanent tooth replacement procedure that's naturally integrated into your bone structure. Dr. Ella Shuster of Academy Dental Care in Westfield and Chatham, New Jersey, has extensive experience in providing top of the line dental implants that look and feel like natural teeth and last a lifetime. Get more information about tooth implants by scheduling your consultation with Dr. Shuster today.
A dental implant is a permanent replacement of a missing tooth that replicates your tooth’s natural structure, from the roots to the crown. The first step of an implant is the placement of an anchor into your jawbone to stimulate osseointegration (bone fusion). Successful osseointegration happens when the supportive, alveolar bone grows around the implant, securing it much the same way it would your tooth’s roots.
Once the fusing process is complete, which usually takes two to three months, Dr. Shuster will place a crown, bridge, or dentures over the implant as they can be used to hold a single tooth, or as an anchor for multiple teeth.
If you’ve lost a tooth or several teeth, you will first need to discuss with Dr. Shuster whether you should get a replacement. In addition to aesthetic reasons, a lost tooth may affect your facial structure or lead to difficulties eating, making a replacement tooth a wise choice.
If you wait too long, bone loss from a missing tooth could make the process of implant replacement more difficult, but not necessarily impossible.
The next step is deciding on what type of replacement tooth you should get because dental implants are not for everyone. Dr. Shuster recommends that you meet a few criteria before you receive an implant, such as:
Once you and Dr. Shuster have decided that a dental implant is a good option for replacing your missing tooth, or teeth, the first step is the installation of the implant into your jawbone. Once she installs the implant, you receive a temporary tooth to help you function while your implant integrates itself into your bone.
After a few months, Dr. Shuster will remove your temporary tooth and attach a permanent crown, or another device, to the implant. Once that is done, there should be no need for further treatments other than your twice yearly cleaning and checkup.
If everything goes smoothly with your implant and osseointegration is successful, and you’ve opted for a permanent crown, your new tooth can last a lifetime.
If you opt for a bridge or dentures that attach to your implant, or a removable crown, the supporting implant will still last a lifetime, though you may need to replace the bridge, crown, or dentures every 10-15 years depending on how they wear.