Dental Implants

Missing teeth is a common phenomenon, with studies estimating that the majority of U.S. adults lose at least one natural tooth by the time they are 40 years old. Not surprisingly losing teeth can have an impact on the way you use your mouth and how you feel about the appearance of your smile. Fortunately, there are various options available to replace teeth. In most cases, when it is desired to replace teeth, dental implants are the ideal choice. We are delighted to be able to offer patients the option of dental implant tooth replacement here at our Missoula office.

About Dental Implants

Dental implants have three main components. These are:

A titanium post. This post or screw is surgically implanted into the jawbone and acts as an anchor for the restoration, essentially replacing the natural tooth root. This element of their design means that, unlike other restorations, dental implants do not rely on your adjacent teeth or nerves. Once the post is in place, the adjacent bone naturally heals around it to secure it in place. This process, called osseointegration, takes a number of months, during which the gum tissue is sealed over the implant so that the patient can continue to use their mouth normally.

A porcelain crown. The visible part of the restoration is a porcelain crown that is designed with the specifications to fit in perfectly with the patient’s natural teeth. This means the right shape, size, and even shade of white, often making the implant difficult to identify from natural teeth when the process is completed. . The crown restores the chewing function and appearance of the missing tooth, making the patient’s smile both functional and attractive.

An abutment. The two elements of a dental implant are attached to one another using special connectors called abutments.

Dental Implant Options

Most people think that dental implants are only used to replace single missing teeth. While this is certainly one of their most popular applications, dental implants can be used to support bridges to replace multiple teeth, or to support partial dentures, and even to support full dentures. The number of implant posts needed will vary, depending on the type of restoration that the patient is having. We’d be happy to give you more specific information about these options at your consultation appointment.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants offer patients a wide variety of benefits, many of which overcome inconveniences and drawbacks of the other alternatives to tooth replacement. Some of the most commonly cited advantages of dental implants include the following:

Natural appearance

One of the most popular things about dental implants is just how much they look like natural teeth. In fact, they are often considered to be the most lifelike of any dental restoration, giving patients unrivaled confidence in their smile.


Another distinct advantage of dental implants is their stability. Since they are anchored into the jawbone itself, they don’t slip and move around like many other conventional tooth loss solutions. This means that patients can enjoy the food they like, smile, laugh, and even kiss without worrying that their artificial tooth might move around and cause them embarrassment. Further, events like coughing and sneezing won't displace a restoration supported by implants.

Simple to care for

Nobody wants to spend longer than is required to maintain the health of their oral cavity, but neither do they want to run the risk of dental issues. Dental implants are great because they are relatively simple to care for. You can’t take them out, so you just need to brush and floss them like you would your natural teeth. Implants cannot develop cavities, but normal home care is required to keep gum tissues healthy since gum disease is the biggest threat to implants. A normal, meticulous oral hygiene routine should be sufficient to keep your implants in good health.

Reinforcing your jaw

When teeth are lost, the bone in the area of the tooth loss will begin to shrink in size, and often become less dense - a process called 'atrophy'. The presence of teeth and the forces exerted on them while chewing, help stimulate the healthy, strong bone. When teeth are lost, those forces are no longer directed through tooth roots into the jaw bone. However, when dental implants are used to replace the natural tooth root, it similarly serves to stimulate the bone, preventing atrophy, and keeping your jaw strong. Further, implants can aid in maintaining the natural shape of your face.


With the proper care and attention both at home and by your dentist, your implants could last upwards of 20 years, making them the longest-lasting dental restoration available and a fantastic investment in the longevity of your smile.

To find out more about dental implants, or to see if you are a good candidate for this popular treatment, please contact our Missoula office today.


3 Reasons Why Our Doctors Recommend Dental Implants


Tooth loss can make nearly every aspect of your life difficult or embarrassing, from eating your favorite foods to smiling with confidence.

At Oral Surgical Associates, we offer dental implants–the most secure, stable, and long-lasting way to replace natural teeth.

Drs. Armando Gama and Eugene Morris in Missoula, MT, offer affordable care to make this advanced dental procedure more accessible...

Versatile Uses

Implants can be used to replace any number of damaged or missing teeth. Whether you need a single dental crown for one tooth or a full denture, our doctors can provide the appropriate number of implants you need to stabilize a permanent restoration.

Jawbone Protection

Dental implants are the only treatment designed to mimic the benefits of tooth roots. The posts fuse with your jawbone tissue, preventing the bone recession that results from tooth loss and keeping your jawline strong and healthy-looking.

Long-Lasting Results

Our doctors only use the most reliable and trusted materials available in implant dentistry. Additionally, we carefully plan every surgery to ensure the success of your treatment. With proper planning and aftercare, your dental implants can last a lifetime.

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