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  • Theriot Family Dental Care

Lafayette Dental Implants

What happens when you lose an adult tooth? More and more people every year get dental implants because they are much more stable than other methods of replacing teeth. Getting implants is as close as you can get to having your natural teeth back.

What are my options for replacing missing teeth?

Illustration of a dental bridgeIn the past dentists Lafayette Dentist Bridgeroutinely used crowns and bridges to replace missing teeth. Dental crowns are made by grinding down the top of a damaged tooth and bonding a porcelain cap to it. A bridge (as you can see from the diagram) uses two crowns on either side of the gap to hold a suspended false tooth.

Another alternative is dentures, which can be less expensive but can slip or feel unnatural and awkward.

Lafayette Dental Implants A dental implant is different because it fits securely into the jaw. Because of this, it will look and feel more like your natural tooth. The root of the missing tooth is replaced by an implant fixture and then a crown is placed on top. As you can see from this diagram it is not necessary to have neighboring teeth ground down.

When should I get a Dental Implant?

It can be important to replace missing teeth in a timely manner to avoid long-term effects. When your teeth fall out (or are extracted) your body actually senses the loss and begins to dissolve away the bone that used to hold that tooth. Over ten or twenty years, if enough teeth are missing, you will experience facial collapse. Dental implants help prevent this.

How does the Dental Implant procedure work?

There are two steps, surgery and prosthesis.

  1. The fixture, or root form, is set into the bone. It typically takes some healing time before the root form can support a replacement tooth. The length of this integration process depends on the patient's bone density and can vary from several weeks to several months. Recent technological advancements keep shortening this recovery time.
  2. Your new tooth is finished when the dentist places a crown on the fixture. The end result looks natural and can accommodate your normal eating and teeth cleaning activities. Unlike a bridge, you will not need special flossing tools.

Dr. Theriot does both of these steps. He is unique among dentists because he is trained to do step one (the surgery) and step two (the prosthesis). As a result patients do not need to see an oral surgeon. The procedure can be completed seamlessly under our care alone.

Are there disadvantages to Dental Implants?

Dental implants are not for everyone. You must be in good oral and general health to tolerate the surgery. Dental implants can require additional visits and may be more expensive than bridges or dentures. We have built a reputation for being mindful and caring when it comes to treatment options. Since we provide many different solutions to missing teeth we are certain that we can have you smiling soon!

Learn about our unique Crown In A Day service.