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By: Chrissy Boothroyd

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 120 million Americans are missing one or more teeth, and 35–36 million Americans are missing all of their teeth in one or both jaws. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) has designated August as Dental Implant Month.

Dental implants have come a long way since around 600 A.D., when the Mayans used carved stone and pieces of seashell to replace missing teeth.  Dental implants have revolutionized dentistry by offering a much more stable and natural-looking replacement for missing teeth. They can be utilized for single or multiple missing teeth in a variety of different ways.  A dental implant is a titanium post that simulates the root of a natural tooth and can support a crown, bridge or overdenture (a denture secured to implants).  Depending on the health of your jawbone and your specific needs, in addition to the traditional multi-step dental implant procedure you may be a candidate for some alternative treatment options. When you meet with your implant dentist, you’ll undergo a complete dental exam; including X-rays and advanced digital imaging to help further evaluate your available bone prior to formulating a treatment plan based on your individual situation.

One option is to have the implants placed and go home with the attached teeth the very same day. Also called immediate load dental implants, they allow placement of a temporary tooth during the same appointment as your dental implant placement. This may be a good option if you have enough natural bone and an implant secure enough to support immediate placement and pressure on the new temporary tooth.

Another option is placing a top or bottom set of replacement teeth, called a full arch. Four to six dental implants are placed in available bone, avoiding the need for bone grafting. Special abutments are used so that a temporary set of replacement teeth can be placed the same day. You follow a modified diet while the gum tissues heal and the implants bond with your natural bone. After about four to six months, the permanent replacement teeth will be placed, and you can resume a regular diet.

If you have missing teeth, deteriorating teeth, or have long-term dental issues, dental implants may be for you. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ee today to determine the next step to help you achieve your best smile.  As an Associate Fellow with the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, Dr. Ee can answer any questions or concerns that you have about dental implants.

Cape May Dental Associates is located at 411 Park Blvd. in Cape May. We welcome new patients and are always happy to answer any questions about your dental health. Call (609) 884-5335, follow us on Facebook, or email us at contact@capemaydental.com to schedule a consult with Dr. Ee.

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