Dental Implants: What your Smile Could be Missing
Your mouth is the most critical component of your outward appearance. Transcending all cultures and backgrounds, a smile can denote amusement, relief, gratitude and triumph. It can represent happiness and even pride for its owner.
Unfortunately, smiling doesn’t come easy for everyone. Some are self-conscious about missing or diseased teeth. Many are uncomfortable with the idea of dentures or a bridge or have experienced discomfort due to dentures or a bridge. Dental implants are a great solution for some, helping you regain a strong, healthy bite—often in as little as one or two trips to the dentist.
“Dental implants can be a more convenient and stable option for tooth replacement,” says Dr. Steven Park, a dentist at Robinson Dental Group in Lake Charles. “Implants are the closest thing to regaining the natural tooth—providing a more natural feel that not only makes a patient feel more physically at ease, but also helps them regain confidence in their smile.”
A dental implant is an artificial root that is inserted into the jaw to replace the tooth, mimicking its original, natural structure. The implant consists of three pieces—an anchoring root, an abutment and a crown.
Placement of the implant is a three-stage procedure. The first stage involves implanting the anchoring root into the jawbone to serve as a strong and stable base for the crown. After the root is given time to merge with the jawbone, then the second stage focuses on removing a protective cover on the anchor. Then an abutment goes into the anchor and impressions are made so that a crown can be fabricated. In stage three, the new tooth, which is the crown, is fitted as the final restoration.
The dental implant process is a medical advancement in itself, but the precision of the procedure is advanced by the latest 3-D dental imaging technology. The 3-D digital CT scanner provides highly accurate and detailed three-dimensional views of the anatomy of a patient’s mouth with a high-resolution, real-time scan of bone, teeth, tooth orientation, tooth and nerve relation, airways and sinuses.
“The new CT scanner gives us the ability to place an implant with the utmost precision,” says Dr. Park. “Its detailed scans allow us to perform a practice surgery on the computer, enabling us to prepare for any problems and achieve the best possible results. Besides assisting with the procedure, the scanner also allows our patients to better visualize and better understand the implant process.”
Dr. Park lists the following as benefits to dental implants:
- Can replace one or more missing teeth
- Can be customized to fit your personal needs.
- Can provide a long-term solution for tooth replacement.
- Do not rely on other teeth for support.
- Can enhance food choices.
- Can improve speech.
- Can improve self-esteem.
Dr. Park says, “If you are in good health, have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant—you are probably a good candidate for a dental implant. Your dentist will carefully review your medical history and conduct a thorough dental examination to determine if you are a good candidate.”
For more information on dental implants, visit robinsondentalgroup.net or call Robinson Dental Group at (337)474-3636 in Lake Charles or (337) 429-5057 in Moss Bluff.