If you’re one of the many Americans who has lost a tooth or teeth, it’s worth considering dental implants. That’s the opinion of Pioneer Valley Dental’s Dr. Brent D. Baugh.
“Today’s dental implants are much better than implants from just a few years ago. The newest implants are much more natural and feel more secure. These implants can replace one or more teeth and provide support for a partial denture or be used to attach a full denture,” said Baugh.
He added,“Having said this, I should also point out that implants aren’t a universal solution. Implants attach artificial teeth directly to the jaw. As such, implants require extensive surgery, so patients have to be in good health, have healthy gums and have adequate bone to support the implant. Plus, patients who have implants need to be committed to oral hygiene and regular dentist visits.”
Pioneer Valley Dental patients who are considering implants undergo an evaluation by their dentist to determine if implants would be a good fit. This evaluation includes a clinical exam and a complete review of the patient’s dental and medical history. Medical conditions like diabetes, heart problems and even allergies are taken into account since these could affect the healing process. In some cases, a physician may also be involved with the evaluation.
There are three components involved with implant surgery: An anchor is usually surgically embedded into the bone; a post is the part to which the tooth attaches; and the artificial tooth. The tooth is usually made of porcelain, metal or polymer resin. Anchors and posts are made from synthetic materials, and titanium is one of the most popular since it is compatible with bone and other tissues. Surgery can take several hours. In addition, it can take up to six months for the bone to grow around the anchor to firmly hold it in place. Some surgeries actually place the anchor and post at the same time. Surgeries are performed in the dentist’s office or in a hospital, depending on the complexity of the procedure and the patient’s health.
The cost of implants is significantly higher than dentures or bridges.
After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University-Israel, Baugh earned his dental degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. in May 1995. He has practiced in the Salt Lake valley since 1995.
Pioneer Valley Dental (pioneervalleydental.com) is staffed with six trained and certified dentists available six days a week with extended evening hours for dental emergencies. Pioneer Valley Dental is located at 3540 S. 4000 W., West Valley City. For emergencies and appointments call (801)969-6200.