How do Dental Implants Work?
If you’re missing a tooth or need to have one extracted as a result of tooth decay, disease, or injury, dental implants provide a long-lasting, effective solution. They may offer the best way for you to achieve a strong, confident smile.
Missing teeth can cause serious problems besides affecting your smile. When you chew and bite, your bone tissue is stimulated. If you have missing teeth, the portion that anchors the teeth isn’t stimulated and this leads to jawbone loss.
When your jawbone starts to shrink, this alters the shape of your face and affects your appearance. When you lose teeth, your remaining teeth may drift or loosen and you may experience jaw pain and headaches as well as difficulty in chewing and speaking.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants look and function like natural teeth and can replace a single tooth or more than one missing tooth. A titanium implant acts like the root of a tooth and is implanted into the jaw bone during a surgical procedure. This implant can hold a complete replacement tooth or offer support for crowns or bridges.
Am I a Good Candidate for this Treatment?
The first thing we will do is to assess whether your jaw bone is strong enough to handle an implant. We use x-rays, teeth impressions, and other scans to determine this.
We’ll also thoroughly examine the affected area to make sure that a dental implant is the best treatment option for your situation. If we think you are a suitable candidate for a dental implant, we will schedule your surgery.
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
We will inject a local anesthetic into the area we will work on. You will be awake for the procedure but you won’t feel anything but mild pressure. If you are uncomfortable with this option, you can opt for other options such as stronger anesthesia that leaves you unaware of what’s happening.
Once the anesthesia has taken effect, we will drill a small hole into your jaw bone just below your gum line. Once the hole is wide enough, we will insert the titanium implant. We stitch the incision up with dissolvable stitches and this finalizes the first part of the procedure. You will be sent home to give the area time to heal.
The healing period may take up anywhere from three to six months and gives the implant time to fuse properly to the bone. You will then come in for the next step.
We will use local anesthetic to numb you and make a small incision to expose the implant. We will then place a piece, called an abutment, to connect the implant and the crown. We will also take an impression for your crown. Once your crown is ready, the final step is to place it over the abutment and screw it securely into the implant.
We will give you instructions on how to care for the implant in order to prevent infection and complications. The instructions may include specific recommendations on how to brush or floss and a restricted diet.
You may receive a special mouthwash and pain medication. If you follow our recommendations and practice good oral hygiene, your implant will remain intact for a long time and you won’t need to have it replaced.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants can replace your missing teeth and restore the stability and functionality of your mouth. In addition to looking like a natural tooth, a dental implant root fuses to the jaw bone so that it functions like a natural tooth too.
After a healing period, you will experience no clear difference between your implant and your natural teeth. As the implant acts like a natural tooth, the bone stays stimulated and further disintegration is prevented.
A dental implant means that your teeth stay aligned and your chewing capacity will be the same as with your natural teeth after a brief period of adaptation.
No special maintenance is required and you care for your implant in the same way as you would for a natural tooth with a regular brushing and flossing routine.
Schedule Your Next Dentist Appointment!
If you are embarrassed by missing teeth, dental implants can do a great deal for your self-esteem and they are made to last a lifetime. They often exceed your expectations when it comes to comfort and appearance.
If you’re interested in replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant, schedule an in-depth consultation to confirm that it’s the best option for you.