The American College of Prosthodontists, an organization of dental specialists expert in reconstructing and replacing teeth, estimates that 178 million American adults have lost at least one tooth. Common causes are injury, decay and gum disease. When tooth loss happens, replacement is essential. Today's best replacement option is the dental implant.
Pittsburgh dentist, Dr. Alan M. Timko, places dental implants for qualified candidates. He carefully educates his patients on the benefits of this modern dental service, fully believing that tooth loss cannot go unaddressed.
The Dental Implant is the Best Solution
Traditional tooth replacements, such as fixed bridgework and partial and full dentures, restore an acceptable amount of oral function and facial appearance to the individual who has lost one or more teeth. However, because these replacements simply set on top of gums and jaw bone, they cannot overcome the soft tissue recession and bone resorption created by tooth loss.
The dental implant addresses all three factors--oral function, facial appearance and tissue integrity. Plus, while initially costing more than traditional prosthetics, dental implants, placed singly or as support for dentures, stay in place for decades while bridgework and dentures typically last seven to 10 years.
In addition, the dental implant features an amazing process called osseointegration. The titanium implant device, surgically placed into the jaw bone, actually melds with the bone. After healing and placement of an extension post and crown, the physical forces of biting and chewing actually strengthen the bone, making it dense and retaining its size.
The Implant Procedure
While many people can receive dental implants the best candidates:
- are in good overall health
- have sufficient bone to accept the device
- have healthy remaining teeth and gums
- don't smoke
- have good at-home dental hygiene habits
- wear a mouth guard if they tend to grind and clench their teeth at night (bruxism)
After an oral exam, x-rays and other kinds of imaging as needed, Dr. Timko incises the gums and screws the implant into the jaw. He closes the site, and after some weeks of healing and integration, he revisits it to place a metal alloy abutment and crown.
Dental Implants are Successful
The American Academy of Implant Dentistry estimates that more than 90 percent of implant procedures succeed. Of those implants, more than 90 percent stay in place permanently. With twice a day brushing and once a day flossing, Dental implant sites stay healthy and strong. Semi-annual cleanings with Dr. Timko are a must, too.
Get More Information From Our Pittsburgh Dental Office
To learn more about dental implants, and to find if they could help your smile gaps, contact the Pittsburgh offices of Alan M. Timko, DMD. Call (412) 364-6777.