Dental Implants for Missing Incisors
Dental implants are a long-term restorative treatment to replace missing teeth. Implants and implant-supported restorations like crowns, bridges, and dentures not only enhance the appearance of a smile, but they also improve dental function, allowing patients to bite and chew more comfortably. At our Knoxville, TN, dental practice, our dentist often places dental implants for missing incisors.
During a consultation, Dr. Thomas Zarger will assess your teeth and gums to determine if dental implants are an appropriate choice. Once you are deemed a candidate for the procedure, Dr. Zarger works tirelessly to ensure your results look and feel completely natural.
What Role Do Incisors Have?
Incisors play a critical role in oral function. They are the four front teeth located in the upper and lower jaws. They are sharp and feature a thin edge. Individuals have two central incisors and two lateral incisors. The main function of these teeth is to cut and tear food into smaller pieces.
What Are the Common Reasons for Missing Teeth?
If a patient is missing one or more incisors, they need to visit our Knoxville, TN, office as soon as possible. There are several reasons why a patient might be missing teeth and include:
- Genetics: For some patients, they may never develop incisors due to a congenital defect that can run in families. Your dentist can help determine if a disorder is causing your condition.
- Trauma: Automobile accidents, sports injuries, and physical altercations can lead to some patients losing their incisors.
- Tooth Extraction: Tooth decay or severely cracked or broken teeth might require an extraction to remove the tooth.
- Gum Disease: Untreated gum disease can reach the underlying structure of the tooth, which can loosen it and cause it to fall out.
During a consultation, Dr. Zarger can determine the cause of your missing incisors. From there, he will customize a course of treatment, which may include dental implants.
What Happens during the Dental Implant Process?
At our Knoxville, TN, practice, dental implants for missing incisors typically require a few office visits. Total treatment length can vary significantly for each patient. At the consultation, the doctor will check to ensure that you have proper bone density, no signs of gum disease, and good oral health. In some cases, preparatory treatment might be recommended first.
After the treatment area is numbed with a local anesthetic, the first procedure involves the dentist making small incisions in the gums. He will surgically place the dental implants, which are tiny titanium posts.
Over the next four to six months, your gums will heal. During this time, the implants fuse with your jawbone to provide stability for your future restoration. Once the implants are integrated, you will visit the dentist so he can place an abutment, or small connector, on top of the implant. Your gums will need to heal after this procedure. Finally, a customized bridge, crown, or denture is placed to provide a natural look.
What Can I Expect after Dental Implants?
After dental implant surgery, your doctor will provide you with specific instructions to care for the treatment area. It is typical to experience some discomfort, bleeding, and swelling. Visit your dentist regularly for appointments to ensure you are healing accordingly. Patients should also follow a proper oral hygiene regimen, including brushing twice a day and flossing daily.