What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots embedded into the jaw, taking the place of one or more missing teeth. They are used to permanently anchor a prosthetic tooth, such as a crown, bridge or denture. Though they are not for everyone, most people who get dental implants experience a successful outcome that often lasts several decades. Dental implants are always personalized to the functional and cosmetic needs of a patient. They are sized, shaped and color-matched for aesthetics. Implants are often chosen by patients seeking the most natural looking and feeling of tooth replacement options, primarily because dental implants are fixed and designed to match the surrounding teeth. If you have one or more missing teeth or will soon be having a tooth extracted, you may be thinking about tooth replacement options. Most patients have a choice in this decision, usually comparing the benefits of implants versus other solutions, like dentures and bridges. Though not everyone will be a good candidate for dental implants, those who are will experience a more secure and long-lasting solution when choosing implants.
Dental implants are typically made of titanium? This metal is known for its light weight, strength, and biocompatibility. Furthermore, titanium easily fuses to the surrounding jaw bone in a process known as osseointegration. This allows the implant to become stronger with time and eliminates the need for adhesives. Dental implants are an option for qualifying patients who are either partially or totally edentulous, whether due to gum disease, tooth decay, trauma or some other cause. For more information about dental implants in [city], contact our office to schedule a consultation.
Getting Dental Implants
The first step of the dental implant process is the consultation. This important visit sets the foundation for a successful treatment. During the consultation, you will meet with your dental surgeon to discuss treatment goals and your eligibility for dental implants as a patient. This is also the time when you will discuss any questions you may have and reasonable expectations of treatment. You will arrive on the day of your dental surgery having followed all pre-operative instructions, such as avoiding food and drink in the hours prior to your procedure. You will be placed under sedation, during which time titanium dental implants will be placed beneath your gum line and into the underlying bone. Finally, the gums will be sutured shut, with only a small part of the implant post visible above the surface. You will be sent home to allow time for new implants to integrate with the surrounding bone. You may be fitted for temporary teeth during this recovery period, which may last several months. During the final stage, your dentist will ask you to return so that you can be fitted for and receive a permanent prosthetic. Depending on the number of teeth you are replacing and your personal preferences, this may be a fixed crown, bridge or a removable denture. The teeth will be custom made to fit the proportions of your face and match any surrounding teeth you may have. The result is a beautiful, natural-looking and functional smile you will be proud to show off.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may qualify for dental implants if you have missing, broken or severely decayed teeth and are in relatively good overall health. The only way of determining your eligibility for implants is to consult with an oral care provider to identify whether you have adequate bone support and healthy gums that will support the new tooth structure.
The placement of dental implants is a multi-step process that typically takes between 6 and 9 months to complete. It begins with a surgical procedure during which a titanium rod is placed where a previous natural tooth root once was. The gums are sutured shut over the implant, where is will stay for several months while it heals and begins fusing with the surrounding bone. Due to the nature of implant placement and its average procedure time of between 1 and 2 hours, you’ll be sedated and/or anesthetized for the duration of the treatment. At the conclusion of the healing period, you’ll return to be fitted for permanent crowns and have them placed.
It is normal to experience some discomfort, including bruising and swelling following a dental implant procedure. However, inflammation and pain may be managed with over-the-counter medications, hydrocodone, or codeine. You may be asked to eat only soft foods for approximately 2 weeks until the surgical site heals.