Dental implants are a great way to replace one missing tooth, and they also provide a fixed solution to replace multiple teeth instead of having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants can also provide excellent support and stability for these removable dental appliances.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by an oral surgeon or periodontist. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile! The first step to getting an implant is getting a referral from your dentist to an oral surgeon or periodontist who places the implant in the bone. After that you will return to your dentist where they will put a crown or denture on top of the implant/implants to replace the teeth.
Dental implants are strong and durable and will last many years. On occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making it more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone by a specialist and allowed to heal and integrate itself for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.
After several weeks of healing, the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete. After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene and eating habits, alongside regular dental visits, will aid in the life of your new implant.
If you have questions about dental implants or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office.