Flower Mound General Dentistry
972.355.8500

Dental Implants


WHAT IS AN IMPLANT?


A natural tooth consists of a crown (the part you see above the gum), and the root (the part hidden under the gum, within the jawbone). It is the root that actually holds the natural tooth in place. When a person is missing a tooth, an implant replaces it. Dental implants are metallic cylinders that are placed into the jawbone where original teeth once existed. These root-like cylinders are used to secure a fabricated tooth, in the place  where a natural tooth is missing. 


WHY WOULD I NEED AN IMPLANT?


People lose one or more teeth for a wide variety of reasons, including infection, gum disease, accident or injury. When natural teeth are removed, many problems occur. The remaining teeth shift, rotate and become crooked. An improper bite will develop making it very difficult to chew food properly.  Spaces and gaps between teeth may cause embarrassment or problems with speech.  Additionally, surrounding bone may erode causing recession.  Recession exposes roots and creates an unaesthetic smile.  Dental implants can restore missing teeth thereby eliminating these problems. People who have teeth replaced with dental implants report better ability to chew food and eat properly, renewed confidence while speaking and better self-esteem.


If after a review of your dental history, dental x-rays, and a thorough oral evaluation, it is decided that an implant is right for you, the following steps will take place. First, the implant is placed in the jaw where the previous root was located.  It is then covered with a healing cap.  If the tooth is in an aesthetic area (in the smile), a temporary tooth can be placed. This is a simple out-patient procedure.  Most patients are surprised by how easy the process is and report very little discomfort afterwards.  Many go about their regular routine the next day.  At this point the implant is left to fuse with the bone to allow stable support. This usually takes 4-6 months.


After the bone and implant have successfully fused together, the next step can be taken. This involves placing a post called an abutment onto the implant. This abutment protrudes from the gum line allowing a crown to be placed over it and glued in place.






The final crown is placed over the abutment.  In order for the crown to look and feel like a real tooth a quality lab is used to fabricate the crown.  Once placed, it can be cleaned like a regular tooth.
See a sampling of our Smile Transformations




IMPLANT EXAMPLE A

This patient was treated at our office.  In fact, this is the husband of one of our staff members.  He lost his tooth due to a large amalgam (silver) filling that contributed to the splitting of his tooth beyond repair.  He was somewhat nervous about the procedure, however he was amazed at how easy it was.  He enjoys having his "tooth" back and getting a second chance.




IMPLANT EXAMPLE B

This patient had a missing front tooth.  The other front teeth were too narrow.  By restoring his smile with an implant and three veneers, we were able to give him a much improved smile.