Dental Implants

When teeth are lost or congenitally missing, adjacent teeth may shift affecting the overall bite and proper function of the jaws. With the advancements in dentistry, replacement of one or multiple teeth can be achieved with dental implants. Whether it is a single tooth or several teeth, dental implants can restore the appearance and function of a normal and healthy mouth. In instances of trauma or injury, even front teeth can be replaced to give you that pleasing smile you deserve.

Dental implants serve as tooth replacements that function just like natural teeth that are “rooted” in the bone of the jaws. An implant looks much like a screw, but it is specially coated with a sterile bone stimulating substance that after placement becomes osseointegrated with the bone. It will take approximately 3-6 months for the implant to become fully osseointegrated – a mechanical and biological process where the bone and implant become rigidly attached. Dr. Helfrich will then fabricate a crown that will attach to the body of the implant that now lies hidden beneath the gums. Upon completion, the dental implant will look, function, and feel much like your natural teeth.

If you recently lost a tooth, Upper Arlington dentist Dr. Helfrich will discuss your options for tooth replacement. However if you are reluctant to have a tooth replaced immediately, the extraction space must be maintained until a definitive treatment decision has been made. When a tooth is extracted, the bone in that area will tend to resorb and decrease over time. Adjacent and opposing teeth may shift and complicate future tooth replacement. This can also affect the way you bite and chew. Whether you decide now or later to replace an extracted tooth, sufficient space for the placement of a dental implant must be maintained.

Before dental implants, congenitally missing teeth were replaced by dental bridges or by a removable partial denture commonly known as a “flipper.” Today when permanent teeth are congenitally absent, dental implants become great options for tooth replacement. Dr. Helfrich will work with you to develop a detailed plan to replace these missing teeth. Younger patients unfortunately are not recommended to receive dental implants until after they are done growing. Although considerable variation exists, growth tends to be complete between the ages of 18-21 years. In instances of congenitally missing teeth, braces are often indicated to move adjacent teeth in order to create sufficient space for a dental implant. Upper Arlington dentist Dr. Helfrich will work with your orthodontist to develop a plan that will result in a beautiful smile and an ideal bite.