Whether you’re a current candidate for dental implants or just hoping to learn more about their usage, the implant process and long-term results post-surgery, we are here to help you understand the importance of them. From replacing a missing tooth to making your smile more aesthetically pleasing, dental implants can have a positive impact on your overall oral health and self-esteem, allowing you to gain confidence in your smile and the health of your mouth.
What are dental implants?
In the simplest terms, dental implants are artificial roots inserted into your jaw bone that provide a fixed space for replacement, or false, teeth. They are the most trusted long-term solution to a missing tooth or missing set of teeth. Dental implants are a fixed alternative to dentures, partials and bridges. When compared to dentures, dental implants are the most permanent solution for lost teeth, making them the gold standard when it comes to tooth replacement and oral restoration.
Dental implants consist of three separate parts:
- An implant, a titanium screw that acts as the root of your new artificial tooth.
- An abutment, a permanent connector that holds the tooth (or set of teeth) in place on the root.
- A crown, the visible part of the new tooth that is usually made up of porcelain.
Who is considered a candidate for dental implants?
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth or an entire set of top and bottom teeth. In the most generalized consideration, if you’ve lost a tooth and require replacement you are considered a candidate for dental implant surgery. There are other factors to consider and discuss with your dentist prior to scheduling treatment. Factors include: overall oral health, medical health and history and a current list of medications you are taking. Certain diseases, conditions and medications can cause adverse reactions to oral surgery so it is imperative that you speak with your surgeon about the risks involved to determine whether you are an ideal candidate for the procedure.
How are dental implants inserted?
Prior to dental implant surgery, a number of dental visits are required to ensure that your dental treatment plan meets the needs of your implant procedure. During those visits, your dentist will perform oral assessments that include planning for your implant and taking all necessary measurements needed to create your personalized implant. From there, your initial surgery is scheduled. During surgery, the dentist creates a channel in your jawbone to accommodate for the implant which will marry to your jawbone. This is the first and more important step in the implant process. From there it takes 3 to 6 months for the implant to adhere to your bone. During this time all of the necessary healing is happening beneath the surface. Once the implant is fully fused to the bone, the remaining articles of the implant are inserted permanently in your mouth, including the crown which will change the look of your smile and allow your teeth to function more efficiently.
Do dental implants require routine maintenance?
Although the crown on an implant can be removed and replaced by a dentist, they are created to act as a permanent fixture in your mouth. During standard dental exams, your implant will be checked through routine x-rays and cleanings. Long-term wear may require that the crown be replaced over time, but no other special daily care is required outside of excellent daily oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and visiting a dentist at least twice a year for routine cleanings.
If you are considering a dental implant for a missing tooth or set of teeth in your mouth, we can help. Contact a member of our dental team today to learn more about how dental implants can improve your oral health and perfect your smile. Your journey to better teeth starts with us.