A dental implant is a specialized metal post, typically made of surgical-grade titanium, which serves as a replacement for a tooth’s natural root. At Dental Wellness Center of Maryville, our dentists can place the implant, and when you are ready, add the crown or restoration to complete your smile. The implant is placed in the jaw and over time, it fuses with the bone to become a strong foundation for a replacement tooth. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, to support a bridge or to secure a denture.

Replacing Missing Teeth

Implants cannot decay, and they are not sensitive to hot or cold. What is perhaps even more impressive is that implants preserve the bone around them and help prevent the bone from gradually shrinking over time. (When a patient’s tooth is lost or removed, gradual bone shrinkage in the surrounding area will occur; however, an implant can halt or even reverse this process.)

An Alternative to Traditional Bridgework

For traditional bridgework, the teeth next to the missing tooth must be trimmed. In many cases, these are perfectly health teeth with no decay or fillings, yet they must be modified to accommodate the bridge. If instead, a dental implant, abutment, and crown are used to replace the tooth, there is no need to modify or trim the adjacent healthy teeth.

Patients with traditional bridges must use a special flosser, called a floss threader, to floss their bridges. Because of the extra time required to use the threader, some patients gradually decrease the frequency of flossing. Without proper daily dental hygiene, the bridge can become decayed over time and require a replacement. Dental implants can be flossed just like natural teeth, and they do not require the use of a threader.

Even with the best daily hygiene habits, a bridge often requires replacement over the course of a patient’s life. The likelihood of replacement for a dental implant is considerably less, with over 98% of implants lasting well over 20 years and often for the patient’s lifetime.

At Dental Wellness Center of Maryville we offer complete in-office implant solutions. Unlike other practices, who are unable to place implants and must refer patients to a specialist for this portion of the treatment, our dentists place the actual implant and then finish it by placing an abutment and a crown. Providing this service in one location not only saves time, but it also proves more cost-effective for patients.

Of course, a patient’s appropriateness for implant dentistry, as opposed to traditional bridgework or other procedures, varies by individual. Your Dental Wellness Center of Maryville dentist is your best resource for determining the most appropriate treatment for a missing tooth or loose dentures. With our 3D cone beam CAT scan technology, our dentists can digitally plan a patient’s implant placement before the actual procedure. Call us today at 618 288 1923 to schedule an implant consultation in Maryville, Illinois, with Dr. Pat Murphy, Dr. Patrick Heulsmann, or Dr. Mike Murphy to see if this exciting treatment is right for you.