Walnut Wood Dental
303 North Keene Street
Suites 206-210
Columbia, MO 6520
(573) 449-2687
Dental Implants are the Most Natural Choice for Tooth Replacement.

Let’s start from the beginning.

A dental implant (also known as an endosseous implant or fixture) is a surgical component that interfaces with the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, facial prosthesis or to act as an orthodontic anchor

Dental Implants and Tooth Replacement

In simple terms, a dental implant is actually a replacement for the root or roots of a tooth (tooth replacement). Like tooth roots, dental implants are secured in the jawbone and are not visible once surgically placed. They are used to secure crowns (the parts of teeth seen in the mouth), bridgework or dentures by a variety of means. They are made of titanium, which is lightweight, strong and biocompatible, which means that it is not rejected by the body. Titanium and titanium alloys are the most widely used metals in both dental and other bone implants, such as orthopedic joint replacements. Dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical device.

Dental implants are typically used to replace severely damaged teeth. For instance, one patient had a crown for over 40 years (typically crowns should be replaced much sooner than that). The root canal the crown was placed in (a peg on the crown was inserted into a canal to hold it in place) fractured and collapsed, and the only way to replace this tooth was with a bridge or a dental implant. Due to the tooth that was effected (#7, front tooth) it was decided that an implant would provide the best solution for this tooth replacement, both from an appearance and a functional standpoint.

Some patients will also choose dental implants over dentures, as they provide a much more stable environment for eating, chewing, etc. Dental implants basically are the same thing as a natural tooth, with a titanium root structure embedded into your underlying bone (just like a natural tooth) and a crown to imitate your natural teeth. Additionally, in severe accidents, where people have multiple teeth damaged, implants can be utilized very effectively.

But let’s get down to it. How is an implant accomplished and what are some of the things you should be aware of.

Dental Implants from Walnut Wood Family Dental

A Word About Bone Loss

Bone needs stimulation to retain its form and its density. In the case of the bone that surrounds your teeth, the necessary stimulation comes from the teeth themselves. Your normal everyday activity of eating and chewing food provides all the stimulation needed to preserve healthy bone. However, when you lose teeth, the bone no longer is being stimulated, and this leads to “bone loss”. Depending on how severe your bone loss is, you may require a bone graft before the implant can actually be placed into your jawbone.
Grafting bone into the extraction sockets at the time of tooth loss or removal can help preserve bone volume needed for implant placement. Surgical techniques are also available to regenerate (re-grow) bone that has been lost, to provide the necessary bone substance for anchoring implants. In fact, a primary reason to consider dental implants to replace missing teeth is the maintenance of jawbone.
Bone needs stimulation to stay healthy. Because dental implants fuse to the bone, they stabilize it and prevent further bone loss. Resorption is a normal and inevitable process in which bone is lost when it is no longer supporting or connected to teeth. Only dental implants can stop this process and preserve the bone.
Installing the Dental Implant and Crowns for Tooth Replacement

Once the titanium implant is surgically implanted into your jawbone, we provide the next stages of the procedure, including the design and fabrication of the crowns, bridgework or dentures that attach atop the implants and are visible in your mouth. This typically occurs 2-6 months after the titanium implant is placed into your jawbone. The implant needs time to heal and attach itself to the bone, becoming an integral part of your mouth. During this time, you will probably receive some type of “temporary” tooth, to cover the work until it’s fully healed.

After your crown is installed, you have what basically amounts to a tooth as strong and healthy as a natural tooth.
Tooth Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities can be caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and not taking proper care of your teeth – all of which leads to tooth decay.

If cavities aren’t treated, they get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. They can lead to severe toothache, infection and tooth loss. Regular dental visits and good brushing and flossing habits are your best protection against tooth cavities and tooth decay.

As we all know, cavities are a fact of life (or so it seems). This is why it is critically important to have regular dental exams, so we can find these cavities before they turn into a serious issue.
Cavities can be repaired quite simply with fillings, but even more important is proper dental hygiene to avoid them in the first place.

Symptoms of Tooth Cavities and Tooth Decay

The signs and symptoms of tooth cavities vary, depending on their extent and location. When a cavity is just beginning, you may not have any symptoms at all. As the tooth decay gets larger, it may cause signs and symptoms such as:

Tooth sensitivity

Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold

Visible holes or pits in your teeth

Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth

Pain when you bite down

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to give us a call right away.
Ignoring a cavity can lead to something more serious, such as a tooth abscess, an infection that invades your tooth, and then requires a root canal and crown to repair the damage.

Be sure to take care of the little dental problems, before they become BIG dental problems.

Start today by scheduling an appointment with Walnut Wood Family Dental, let us nip any minor issues in the bud before they become major and expensive issues.
The Importance of a Regular Dental Exam

Having a regular dental exam is crucial to your dental health, and you should have an exam at least twice per year.

During a dental exam, we will clean your teeth and check for cavities and gum disease. We will also evaluate your risk of developing other oral health issues, as well as check your face, neck and mouth for abnormalities. We may also need to take dental x-rays to properly diagnose you.

Dental Exam from Walnut Wood Family Dental

Regular Dental Exams are insurance against more expensive procedures. Dental exams allow us to diagnose early and take care of small problems before they become a major expense. With regular dental exams, your teeth will last a lifetime.

During your dental exam, we will discuss things like your diet and oral hygiene habits. (Do you brush twice a day and floss?) We may also provide advice on how to properly brush and care for your teeth. We may also advise on cosmetic enhancements to your teeth (teeth whitening, crowns, veneers, etc.).

We will recommend procedures that will ensure your teeth last for a lifetime, and guarantee a beautiful smile.