Missing a tooth is more than just an aesthetic issue. When you’re missing one or more teeth it can cause health and functional problems in your mouth as well. If left untreated, not only may you hide your smile because of the gap in your teeth, but a variety of oral health issues may arise, leading to more dental work.
At the practice of Dr. Heather Fleschler, D.D.S., F.A.G.D., L.V.I.F., her goal is to provide you with exceptional dental care to address your oral health and cosmetic needs. For missing teeth, she offers dental implants as a solution to make your smile beautiful and to keep your jaw and mouth functioning properly.
You may not realize but having a missing tooth can cause a number of negative effects on the function of your mouth. That’s why it’s important you see an experienced cosmetic dentist as soon as you can if you have a missing tooth so that you can restore your mouth before more damage is incurred. Other problems a missing tooth can cause include:
- Shifting of your other teeth
- Jawbone deterioration
- Loss of other teeth
- Problems with jaw joints and muscles
- Problems with bite
As you can see, there are many issues that missing teeth can create. And while dentures can help the appearance of your smile, they do little to help your remaining teeth and jawbone stay strong. They can also slip while you speak and eat, causing discomfort and even embarrassment. Dental implants offer a permanent solution to restore your smile and help your overall oral health.
When you decide to have the dental implant procedure you may wonder what is involved in the process. The dental implant process is an investment in time, as it takes multiple office visits over a period of months, but once it’s complete you’ll have a permanent, natural-looking solution that will rejuvenate your smile and oral health.
The dental implant process may vary from person to person but is generally as follows:
- Consultation: During your consultation, Dr. Fleschler will examine your current dental situation while evaluating the health of your jaw, gums, and teeth to make sure that you’re a candidate for the implant procedure. Sufficient jawbone density is essential for successful implantation. In some cases, she may recommend a bone graft to aid in the implant process.
- Implant process: Once it’s determined that you’re a good candidate for the implant process, Dr. Fleschler works with a local periodontist who will perform any extractions necessary and also place the implant. Before placement, a 3D image of your mouth and jaw will be taken and used to guide the placement of the implant. The periodontist then places the titanium implant into your jawbone.
- Osseointegration: After the implant has been placed, the healing period begins. During this phase the titanium implant will begin to fuse with your jawbone, making it a permanent and functional replacement tooth. This fusing process is called osseointegration and generally lasts from 3-6 months.
- Prosthetic tooth placement: After the osseointegration process is completed you’ll return to Dr. Fleschler’s office and she’ll place an abutment (small titanium rod) onto the implant. This abutment is where the new prosthetic tooth will sit. She’ll then make an impression of your teeth which will be used to create your porcelain dental crown. Once the lab finishes your crown, Dr. Fleschler will place it on the abutment and your replacement tooth will be complete.
After the process is completed you’ll have a fully functional, natural-looking tooth. Dr. Fleschler will work with you every step of the way to make sure that the process is as smooth and pain-free as possible.
If you’d like to learn more about the dental implant process and if you’re a candidate, please contact us by filling out the form on this page or by calling us at 713-660-6500 to schedule your consultation. Dr. Fleschler happily provides services to those who live in the Houston, Sugar Land, and Pasadena areas of Texas.