What Are Dental Implants?
When a tooth has been lost or is damaged beyond repair, a dental implant can provide the strength and durability of a natural tooth root. Implants not only offer the most natural-looking method of replacing teeth, but they also protect other teeth from shifting into the site left vacant by the missing tooth, a process which can lead to bite misalignment and eventual bone loss.
Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically placed in the jawbone in the site once occupied by the missing tooth (or teeth). During the healing process, the implant fuses with the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. Once the implant has securely bonded to the jawbone, an attachment piece, or abutment, is placed over the implant, where it serves as an anchor for a beautiful and natural looking prosthesis to be secured. Implant restoration options include porcelain crowns, dental bridges, and dentures. Ultimately, dental implants offer a strong base and lifelong support system for these implant restorations to secure themselves upon, providing both aesthetic and restorative benefits to the patient.
The Dental Implant Process
Once Dr. Heringer has determined that a patient is a good candidate for dental implants, he creates a customized treatment plan to best suit his or her restorative needs. Although Dr. Heringer does not perform the implant placement procedure himself, he ensures that each patient receives the best possible care by working closely with a trusted oral and maxillofacial surgery specialist. After an implant has been placed, it usually takes anywhere between three and six months for the healing process to occur. The patient wears a temporary prosthesis during this transitional period. As soon as the mouth has properly healed, the oral surgeon places an abutment over the dental implant, a procedure which also requires a short healing period, often two weeks to one month. At this point, Dr. Heringer can fit the patient for a beautiful, custom-made implant restoration. The entire implant process can take up to one year to complete, but the benefits of the treatment are permanent, as it provides a life-long solution to tooth loss.
In addition to dental implants, Dr. Heringer also offers mini gum lifts. This procedure utilizes laser technology to trim away excess gum tissue that may create the appearance of a "gummy smile." Dr. Heringer can perform a mini gum lift during the same appointment as the placing of the dental implant restoration, thus providing a beautiful and seamless aesthetic that will truly transform any smile.
Learn More about Dental Implants
If you are interested in getting dental implants, please contact Heringer Dentistry to set up a consultation. Dr. Heringer and his entire team of restorative specialists are ready to help you achieve a healthy, revitalized smile. We look forward to meeting you!