Millions of people in the United States are missing one or more teeth because of dental decay, gum disease and accident. Relatively quickly, jaw bone and gums recede, and adjacent teeth drift toward the empty tooth socket. For fully edentulous individuals, the toll on self-esteem, nutrition and speech is significant.
So, Dr. Leslie Metzger of Monet Aesthetic Dentistry, frequently advises placement of dental implants or implant-supported dentures. Secured within the jaw bone, dental implants provide aesthetically pleasing and stable tooth replacement. And, they integrate fully with bone for unparalleled longevity.
What Does a Dental Implant Look Like?
The visible portion of a single dental implant looks like a real tooth because what shows is a lifelike porcelain crown, color-matched and shaped to blend in with the rest of the patient’s smile. Beneath the gums, the implant has two parts: a titanium screw, which an oral surgeon places in the jaw, and a metal alloy extension post.
Dental implants are placed in multiples in the jaw so they fully anchor a lifelike prosthetic made of tooth and gum colored acrylic: either bridgework or full or partial dentures. Whatever the case–single tooth implant or larger prosthetic–the patient needs sufficiently healthy and dense jaw bone to accept the implant or implants.
The Implant Process
Dr. Metzger performs a thorough oral examination, digital X-rays and other imaging to determine if a patient can have a dental implant. That decided, she refers the patient to a trusted area oral surgeon for placement of the implant.
The surgeon begins the procedurre with numbing the area to be treated and incising the gums. He or she drills a small pilot hole into the bone and places the implant screw. The surgeon closes the site, and the patient returns home for a period of healing.
Depending on the kind of implant device placed, healing, or osseointegration as scientists call it, can take several weeks. After healing is complete, the patient returns to Monet Aesthetic Dentistry where Dr. Metzgar finishes the restoration with a post and crown. There are some implant procedures which shorten the time between implant placement and restoration with a crown. However, the typical treatment time allows for complete osseointegration for best strength and performance of the dental implant.
Regarding the porcelain crown, Dr. Metzgar frequently places an E4D porcelain crown, customized with CAD/CAM technology and milled right in the dental office. The digital impressions, design and fabrication take just about an hour, and Dr. Metzgar is able to bond the crown on the implant.
Today’s Dental Technology
It’s truly a wonder. Dental implant patients in Farmington can anticipate enjoying their prosthetics for decades. Success rates for dental implants is around 95 percent, and with good at-home and in-office hygiene, implants are likely the last tooth replacements the individual will need.
Dr. Metzger has studied extensively at the well-respected Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. Patients testify to her excellent chairside manner and skill set.
If You are Interested…
Contact Monet Aesthetic Dentistry for a restorative dentistry consultation. Dr. Metzger will explain your tooth replacement options and the entire treatment process. Anticipate a beautiful, durable smile!