Save your smile with dental implants
Reality television shows such as "Extreme Makeover" and the trend in tooth whitening have focused patient interest on improving and maintaining and improving their oral health. The loss of a tooth can lead to a cascade of unfavorable circumstances that can affect the physical and social well being of the patient.
Dental implants are the current state of the art for tooth replacement. In the US, approximately 700,000 dental implants were placed in 2002 according to the Millennium Research Group. The current rate of success is generally regarded at about 90 percent. Dental implants are a substitute for natural tooth roots and are placed directly in the jawbone. They are made from titanium and have a variety of surface preparations to enhance their retention.
Denture wearers who choose dental implants experience the greatest improvement in their quality of life and comfort. Dental implants can stabilize and improve the retention of a loose denture.
Individual tooth replacement is now commonplace with dental implants. The traditional treatment for a missing single missing tooth is the placement of fixed bridgework. One or more teeth on each side of the missing tooth is prepared by cutting away sound tooth structure and then crowned (capped), with these crowns bringing joined by an artificial tooth to form a "bridge." Dental implant technology allows for tooth replacement without cutting your natural teeth or being attached to them. This allows for a more natural appearance and easier cleaning.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are specifically trained in the placement of dental implants and in the restoration of missing bone required for their support. They work as a team with your family dentist or prosthodontist to provide you with comprehensive care. All surgical procedures have risks and benefits that are beyond the scope of this article.
Please consult your oral and maxillofacial surgeon for a consultation to determine if implants are appropriate for you.
Oral surgeons Russell Wible, D.M.D., and John Clemenza, M.D., D.M.D., both on the medical staff at Sharon Regional, perform this procedure.
For more information, contact Sharon Regional's Health Information Center at 724-983-5518 or 800-346-7997. Additional information is also available at websites for the American Dental Association, www.ada.org, and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, www.aaoms.org.