What are Dental Implants?
There are several types of prosthetic that can be used to create a replacement tooth. If you lose a tooth or teeth due to trauma or decay, an implant is an ideal solution for many patients to restore the function of your teeth and rejuvenate your smile. The implant is a synthetic tooth root, typically made of titanium, which is surgically implanted into the jawbone. A replacement tooth is then fixed to the root post. Dental implants are the most permanent solution. As the jaw bone heals, it grows around the implant, locking it into place. The implant itself acts as an anchor for a bridge, crown, denture, or other dental prostheses.
Who is Eligible for Dental Implants?
Not everyone is a candidate for implants. Dental implants are a suitable choice for people who have lost teeth due to injury or disease. However, in order for the implant to be successful, ideally, the patient should be a non-smoker with good oral health, sufficient bone in the jaw and healthy gums; all are important factors to supporting the implant. If a patient has a soft jaw bone or gum disease, the risk of failure or infection is too substantial to proceed. During our consultation, we’ll perform a thorough check of your natural teeth and gums, and confirm with X-rays whether you are suitable for this type of treatment.
How are Dental Implants Fitted?
This is a relatively invasive procedure, but we will do everything to keep you as comfortable and calm as possible. We’ll start by removing any tooth or teeth that require extraction, then we will drill into the jaw, replacing the root with an implant. After the first procedure, your jaw bone will be given a chance to heal, then you will return to the office to have the artificial tooth fitted to the implant. Although appearance is immediately improved after the second appointment, function is restored gradually over several weeks.
One implant will replace one missing tooth, but if you have several teeth missing in a row, a few strategically placed implants may be positioned in a way that they can support a permanent bridge without putting stress and wear on surrounding teeth. Implants can even be used to support a full bridge or denture that is permanently fixed if you have lost all of your teeth, eliminating the need for traditional dentures.
You must care for them just like you would care for your natural teeth with daily brushing and flossing and regular checkups. Call us today to discuss implants if you think you may be a candidate.
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