Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Dental Implants

Dental Implants

What are Dental Implants?

Smiling WomanDental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically inserted into the jawbone. Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants are long-term replacements that an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon places in the jawbone, resulting in replacements that look, feel and function like natural teeth.

Dental implants are composed of titanium metal that “fuses” with the jawbone. They do not slip, nor do they decay. Also, because they fuse with the jawbone, bone loss is less of a problem. If properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Why Dental Implants?

Many patients who have selected dental implants over conventional dentures describe having a quality of life that is more comfortable and secure. Dentures typically make a person look and feel older than they are, restrict the pleasure of eating and may cause embarrassment in social situations.

Oftentimes, having dental implants eliminates the day-to-day frustration and discomfort that comes from wearing dentures. Also, dental implants allow people to enjoy a healthy, diverse diet.

Getting Dental Implants

Successful implantation of dental implants requires a multi-disciplinary team, including a restorative dentist to make the crown for the implant and the oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who surgically places the implant.

Initially, an evaluation may include a comprehensive exam, x-rays and a consult with the members of the implant team. Follow-up with the team is important to chart the patient’s progress.

Dental Implant Candidates

Dental implants may be an option for people of all ages, except for growing children. Even those with existing medical conditions, smokers, patients who have gum disease or problem teeth or who are currently wearing dentures or partials may be candidates.

Facts about Dental Implants

  • Dental implants are the first technological advances in dentistry to allow the permanent, natural and stable replacement of teeth lost to accident, injury or disease.
  • Implants can be used safely and successfully to replace upper and lower teeth and are frequently the best treatment option.
  • Sixty-nine percent of adults ages 35-44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease or failed root canal or tooth decay.
  • By age 74, 26 percent of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth.
  • Dental implants are typically the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth.

To schedule an appointment with one of our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons to determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants, please call 713-790-3333.