For people missing one, two or even all of their teeth, the consequences to oral health and overall well-being can be far-reaching. From poor nutrition to aged facial appearance to the weakening of remaining teeth and bone structure, tooth loss without replacement creates serious problems. Unfortunately, traditional replacements such as fixed bridgework and full and partial dentures come with their own sets of adverse issues.
What's the alternative? When facing extraction and tooth replacement, consider implant dentistry from Drs. Jeffrey J. and Jodi B. Johnson, your local St. Louis, MO dentists. Dental implants represent today's highest standards for effective and aesthetic tooth replacement, and over the long haul, they prove to be stable and economical, too.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth that replaces a decayed tooth, or one that failed because of injury or gum disease. Comprised of a titanium screw, metal alloy post, or abutment, and a custom-fabricated porcelain crown, the dental implant resides right in the jaw bone, affording natural looks and exceptionally stable biting, chewing and speech.
Drs. Jeffrey Johnson and Jodi Johnson may replace one tooth with a single dental implant, or several implants can support bridgework or full arches of removable or fixed dentures. Your St. Louis, MO dentists evaluate patients with oral exams and modern imaging to determine if they are good candidates for these devices. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, an organization of dentists who specialize in gum disease treatment and research, sufficiently dense jaw bone and healthy gum tissue help the success and retention of dental implants.
The Implant Procedure
Dr. Johnson places dental implants during in-office surgery usually using nothing more than local anesthesia (pain shots) to numb the area. A hole is drilled into the patient's jaw and the implant device is screwed into place. Over the next several weeks, the titanium screw integrates firmly with the bone. This melding process is called osseointegration, and it facilitates retention of the implant and also exercises and strengthens the jaw.
After the site heals adequately, Dr. Johnson attaches the metal extension post and porcelain crown to the implant. After some minor adjustments for fit and bite, the dental implant is complete. At home, the patient performs routine brushing and flossing and sees Dr. Johnson for exams and cleanings every 6 months.
Implant Success and Versatility
Implant dentistry patients all over the world testify that their dental implants look and feel as though they are real teeth. Plus, implants stay in place for years--to the point where they can be considered permanent restorations. The Academy of Osseointegration says that dental implants are more than 90 percent successful.
What about You?
If you are faced with tooth loss, or already have smile gaps, don't wait. Contact Drs. Jeffery J. and Jodi B.Johnson for compassionate expertise on dental implants and other tooth replacement options. Call their office today at (314) 427-7400.