If you’re missing a tooth or planning to have one extracted, you’re likely considering your tooth replacement options. Several standard tooth replacement options are available today, including dental implants, crown and bridge appliances, and dentures. Many patients who want a permanent solution that feels and functions like their natural tooth opt for dental implants. Dr. Brianne Fratantonio of Chesterland Family Dental Care in Chesterland, Ohio, helps patients understand how implants work, which patients are ideal candidates, and the process for restoring their smile.
A dental implant is a replacement tooth root. A titanium metal post with threads is placed into the jawbone. The bone heals and grows around the implant and into the threads, providing it with great support. After the bone grows, a replacement tooth is attached to the metal post by an abutment.
Dental implants are commonly used to replace teeth that have been lost due to decay or damage. For example, a tooth with an untreated cavity can become so severely damaged that it can’t be saved. Or a tooth can become badly broken or damaged during an accident or a fall.
Most adults who have a missing tooth are good candidates to receive a dental implant. However, implants do require a certain amount of bone density, width and height to ensure that the post stays strong and secure. Your dentist will be able to tell if you’re an ideal candidate for dental implants by examining your mouth and taking x-rays.
The first step to receiving a dental implant is to visit your dentist. After an examination of your mouth, the dentist will be able to confirm whether a dental implant is the best replacement tooth option for you. If it is, you’ll be scheduled for the implant procedure.
It’s important to note that it can take several months from start to finish because the entire procedure includes healing time. During that time, you will visit your dentist a few times to ensure that your mouth is healing correctly.
During any dental procedure, you will receive local anesthesia to ensure you stay comfortable. Most patients find that they don’t even notice the implant once the post is in and the replacement tooth is attached. The tooth fits securely to the gum line, which keeps any gum irritation to a minimum.
Dental implants offer several advantages over other tooth replacement options, including:
Brianne R. Fratantonio, MA, DMD, earned her dental degree from Case
University School of Dental Medicine and her Bachelor of Science and Masters in
from John Carroll University.
She is a member of the
American Dental Association (ADA),
Ohio Dental Association (ODA),
American Academy of Facial Esthetics,
Engel Institute of Dental Implants, and
is passionate about providing general dentistry services and building lasting patient
Nicholas R. Fratantonio, DDS, FAGD, received his postgraduate training at Case Western Reserve University Dental School. He is a member of the ADA, ODA, Northeast Ohio Dental Society, International Association of Orthodontics, American Orthodontic Society, American Association of Functional Orthodontics, and International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics, a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, and a Past President of the Northeastern Ohio Neuromuscular Study Club.
Daniela Diaz, DMD, earned her doctorate from Case Western Reserve University and took part in an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Internship at MetroHealth Medical Center. She keeps updated with the latest technologies and follows various continuing education courses to expand her skills. Dr. Diaz is a member of the ADA, ODA, American Association for Women Dentists, Hispanic Dental Association, and Greater Cleveland Dental Society (GCDS).
Trudy Amstadt, DDS, is a graduate of the School of Dental Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. She has followed advanced courses in cosmetic dentistry, dentures, crowns and bridges, occlusion, and neuromuscular dentistry. She has memberships with the American Dental Society, ODA, GCDS0, and various study clubs.