Before the development of dental implants, the options for replacing missing teeth were fairly limited to removable dentures, and dental crowns and bridges. While all are effective and reliable methods for patients suffering from gum disease or trauma related tooth loss, implants go a step further by also replacing the root of the missing tooth. This is an important element in preserving the health and stability of the bone tissue in the jaw, as well as the remaining teeth. From Dr. Jennifer Kim's office at Pender Dental Care in Merrifield and Fairfax, VA, learn more about this restorative dental procedure.
Dental implants in Fairfax
The first step in the process involves implanting a screw shaped, biocompatible titanium post in the jaw to replace the root. This will serve as an anchor to which the crown that replaces the tooth portion will be attached. Once it is placed in the jaw, the implant fuses with the surrounding bone tissue, which helps to permanently lock the implant in place. For this reason, patients must have sufficient healthy bone tissue remaining in the jaw in order to be a candidate for dental implants.
Your Merrifield and Fairfax dentist can use implants to replace a single missing tooth or several. Because the implants are designed to function like a natural tooth attached to a root, additional bridges are not necessary to hold the tooth restoration in place. Unlike dentures, which can become loose and require removal for cleaning and the use of adhesives to remain in place, dental implants are designed to be permanent.
Once the implant has healed, a natural looking crown designed to match the color and texture of the surrounding teeth is attached. For patients who are already using dentures and would like a more natural, secure fit, implants can be used to attach dentures and keep them in place.
Contact a dentist in Fairfax
For more information on how dental implants work, contact Dr. Jennifer Kim at Pender Dental Care in Merrifield and Fairfax, VA. Schedule a comprehensive dental exam and consultation today!