Dr. Tim Kelly places and restores dental implants in our Albuquerque practice. If you are missing teeth, there is no better solution for restoring the comfort, functionality, and appearance of your smile. Dental implants are small titanium posts surgically implanted in the jaw, providing the ultimate anchor for dentures, crowns, and bridges. Placing dental implants generally requires two surgeries and three to six months of healing time, but they can provide a lifetime of support, allowing you to chew, speak, and smile with the utmost confidence. If you have questions about dental implants or would like to find out whether you are a suitable candidate for this treatment, please contact our restorative dentist today.
Dental implants provide a wealth of benefits. Because they actually become fused with the jawbone, they eliminate the possibility of replacement teeth sleeping out of place while chewing or speaking. Many patients say the support dental implants provide feels virtually identical to that provided by their natural teeth.
Also, dental implants can also preserve the structural integrity of the jawbone. In the absence of tooth roots, the jawbone will slowly begin to atrophy as the body resorbs bone cells at the site of the missing tooth. However, the body perceives dental implants as tooth roots, halting this process and maintaining the structure of the jaw.
If your missing teeth are causing an imbalance in your smile that results in TMJ disorder, dental implants can provide an excellent foundation for relief. Dr. Kelly is a TMJ disorder expert, and he can use implants and other solutions to help you achieve the comfortable, healthy smile you deserve.
Dental implants are the most natural, comfortable option in tooth restoration available today. Dr. Kelly can determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants after a thorough oral exam.
A dental implant, first and foremost, requires adequate bone mass in the jaw. If you have waited a long time to replace a missing tooth, you may have lost some bone mass. In this case, you may require a bone graft to accommodate an implant. As with any surgery, the best candidates for dental implants are those who don't use tobacco, as nicotine will hinder the all-important process of the bone becoming fused to the implant.
During the initial surgery, an incision is made in the gum, exposing the jawbone. Next, a small pilot hole is drilled into the bone. The threaded implant is then inserted, and the gum is stitched closed. Over the next three to six months, a process called osseointegration occurs in which as the jawbone heals, it will bond directly to the implant. Once this process is complete, you will return for a second surgery. An incision is made in the gums, exposing the implant. A special abutment is attached to the top of the implant, which will serve as the support above the gum line for your restorations. The gums are then stitched closed around the abutment. Once the gums have healed, the process of restoring your implant can begin.