Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide support and stability for dental appliances such as dentures.
Dental implants are artificial roots (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dental surgical specialist. Once the implant has integrated (fused to the bone), this provides an anchor for your dentist to attach crowns, bridges or dentures. Teeth replaced using implants are usually very natural looking and easy to maintain.
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and usually last many years. Occasionally their attachments have to be replaced and rarely the implant itself has to be replaced due to wear or other dental changes.
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 them 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. Sometimes there is not enough bone and bone grafting or sinus augmentation may be necessary. While the area is numb (or with intravenous sedation if preferred), the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate to the bone for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to uncover the implant in the gum tissue.
After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the implant anchor by your general dentist. Multiple fittings may be required, so this step may take one to two months to complete. Once the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, you can enjoy the appearance and stability of these dental wonders.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.