Dental Implants in Billings, MT
It used to be that missing teeth were a circumstance that you would have to live with. Today, through modern technology and advancements in medical knowledge, the loss of a single tooth or multiple teeth is no longer irreversible.
If you have missing teeth, those gaps in the smile can cause difficulty in eating, problems speaking clearly, bone loss, gum recession, and alignment problems with the remaining teeth.
There are a number of ways to combat missing teeth, but one of the most popular and long-lasting is the dental implant. Visit our dentist in Billings, MT, Dr. Neal C. Johnson, DMD, to learn more about improving your smile with dental implants.
What Are Teeth Implants?
With implant dentistry, we can fill a gap in the bite with a complete synthetic structure that looks just like a natural tooth. It can be cleaned and maintained just like a natural tooth and keeps the whole mouth healthy in all the same ways that a natural tooth would.
This structure is made of multiple parts: the root, the connector, and the crown.
The Root of the synthetic tooth is an implanted post which is most often made from titanium. This post is placed exactly where the original tooth’s root would have been, and even fuses to the bone through a process called osseointegration.
This fusion process not only provides a stable and secure anchor for the crown but keeps the bone of the jaw healthy by preventing deterioration.
The Crown of a natural tooth is the enamel-covered biting surface. It is necessarily tough and built to endure lots of hard work.
Synthetic crowns do all of this with the same strength, while also looking entirely natural. They are custom-crafted to precisely fit and match your mouth, making them practically indistinguishable from an organic tooth.
The Abutment is a small connector piece that brings the rod and the crown together. It can be made to fit a single crown, a bridge appliance, implant-mounted partial dentures, or even support a full set of dentures.
The Benefits of a Dental Implant
Some of the benefits of this type of tooth replacement are obvious. Chewing is made easier. So is speaking.
But the list of praises doesn’t end there. Dental implant structures are also extremely durable. Some of the first tooth implants were placed more than thirty years ago, and they are still functioning effectively to this day.
As mentioned above, the deterioration of bone in the jaw is also dramatically reduced. With a dental implant, your mouth can return to 100% function and health.
Dental Implant Procedure
Here at our practice in Billings, NT, Dr. Neal Johnson can both place and restore dental implants. We use a CT scanner to be able to truly tell what is needed for a successful outcome. We also use it as a surgical guide to ensure proper placement of the implant.
The process of placing dental implants typically involves the following steps:
Preparation: Before the implant can be placed, the dentist or oral surgeon will need to assess the patient’s oral health and determine the best location for the implant. The area where the implant will be placed may need to be numbed with local anesthesia.
Implant placement: The implant is inserted into a hole that has been drilled into the jawbone. The implant may be left uncovered or may be covered with a protective cap until the bone has fully healed around it.
Healing: After the implant has been placed, the bone around the implant will need time to heal and grow around it, a process called osseointegration. This can take several months.
Attachment of the artificial tooth: Once the implant has fully integrated with the surrounding bone, the artificial tooth (also called a crown) can be attached to the implant. This is typically done using a small metal post called an abutment that is attached to the implant and serves as the foundation for the crown.
The process of placing dental implants is typically done in stages, with the implant placement surgery followed by a period of healing and then the attachment of the artificial tooth. The entire process can take several months to complete.
Call Our Billings, MT, Implant Dentist Today
If you are considering dental implants in Billings, MT, it is important to have a thorough evaluation by a dental professional to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
Factors that may influence your suitability for dental implants include the density and quality of your jawbone, the overall health of your teeth and gums, and any underlying medical conditions you may have. We can perform sinus lifts and bone grafts, if needed, to help you qualify for the implant procedure.
Dr. Neal Johnson, DMD, will be able to provide you with more information about the benefits and risks of dental implants and help you make an informed decision about whether this treatment option is right for you.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth, dental implants may be the right option for you. Give us a call to discuss your specific situation and ask us anything you want to know about implants. We also use implants to secure removable or permanent dentures. See our Dentures page for more information.