Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. They are better than other alternatives like bridges because no additional teeth need to be altered to place the new tooth.
A dental implant is a “man-made” replacement for a missing tooth or tooth root. Made from titanium, this screw-like object is inserted under the gum and directly into the upper or lower jaw bone. There is usually minimal discomfort involved with this procedure. After a period of a few months, the dental implant and the bone fuse together. This creates an anchor for the new tooth to be placed onto the dental implant.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
- Dental Implants look and function like your natural tooth.
- Dental Implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth.
- Dental Implants are maintained by routine hygiene visits to your dental office.
- Dental Implants decrease the possibility of bone loss, periodontal disease, tooth movement, and further tooth loss.
- Dental Implants replace the need for a removable full or partial denture.
- Dental Implants focus only on the tooth or teeth that are missing. A traditional bridge would involve the two or more adjacent teeth being compromised to support a false tooth in between.
Who is a candidate for Dental Implants?
With major advancements in dentistry and dental implants, most people are candidates for dental implants. There may be exceptions due to chronic illness, heart disease, and severe osteoporosis.
How long does a Dental Implant last?
With routine dental hygiene scheduled and proper home care, a dental implant can last approximately 30 years to a lifetime.
What does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?
The entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months. The first part of the process is to install the implant itself, where a screw is placed into the jaw bone. An incision is made in the gum so that the implant can be inserted. Multiple implants can be placed at once if necessary. After the implants are placed the gums are sutured.
The implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to heal, and during this time the jaw bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. During this healing time you can have temporary crowns installed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile.
After the implant has healed it is time to place an abutment on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. One this is placed an impression of the abutment is taken and is used to create your permanent restoration. Once the restoration is completed you can return to the office to attach the restoration permanently. Your smile will look just like it used to, and after a short period of getting used to the implant it will feel just like one of your own teeth.