Nothing can replace your natural, permanent teeth, but dental implants come pretty close. If you’ve lost some or all of your teeth due to an injury, disease, or decay, dental implants can restore your smile to its near original condition. At Presidio Dental in Tucson, Arizona, Jesse C. Engle, DMD, regularly uses dental implants to help his patients look and feel their best. As one of Tucson’s premier implant dentists, he can help you determine if they’re right for you. To make an appointment, call the office or click the online scheduling tool today.
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots made of titanium or another durable metal. In many situations, dental implants provide the most functional and aesthetic solution for replacing a missing tooth or multiple teeth.
Unlike traditional oral prosthetics like crowns and bridges, your dentist surgically fuses dental implants to your jawbone, which prevents them from slipping, sliding, or moving around.
If you’re healthy enough to undergo a routine dental procedure like a root canal or extraction, you’re probably a good candidate for dental implants. However, you need to have healthy gum tissue and enough bone to secure your implants. If you smoke cigarettes or you’re living with a chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, make sure to let the Presidio Dental team know. These factors won’t necessarily disqualify you from treatment, but they may increase your risk of complications.
Getting dental implants takes a series of multiple appointments and a period of between 6-12 months. Though this may seem like an extended period of time, it’s important to remember that with proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.
At your first appointment, your Presidio Dental provider develops a personalized treatment plan. Your dentist performs an oral exam, reviews your medical history, and takes a cone beam CT scan to get a better look at your jawbone. If your bone and teeth are healthy and there are no signs of infection, your dentist moves forward with treatment.
First, your dentist administers a local anesthetic to numb your teeth and gums. After the anesthesia sets in, your dentist places your implants –– a series of small metal posts — in the bone socket of each missing tooth. After placing your implants, you’re sent home with a list of recovery instructions. It typically takes 6-12 weeks for your implants to fuse with your jawbone.
At your second appointment, your dentist attaches a small metal connector, known as an abutment to each implant. Then, your dentist takes impressions of your existing teeth and creates a model of your bite. Finally, your impressions are sent to a laboratory that manufactures your pontics (prosthetic teeth).
A week or two later you return for your third and final appointment. At this appointment, your Presidio Dental provider screws your new prosthetic teeth onto the top of each abutment and cements them in place. Generally, the process takes about 60 minutes. You leave the office with a new set of teeth that look and function just like your natural ones.
To see if you’re a candidate for dental implants, make an appointment at Presidio Dental by calling the office or clicking the online scheduling tool today.