Dental implants are an effective way to replace missing teeth. They also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants as well can provide excellent support and stability any such dental appliances.
Reasons for dental implants:
- Restore a patient’s confident smile.
- Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
- Restore or enhance facial contour.
- Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
- Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
- Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Dental implants are artificial roots (usually titanium) that are placed by surgery into the upper or lower jaw bone. This is done by a dentist or Periodontist (oral surgeon) – a specialist of the gums and supporting bone. As with all other appliances, the teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often restore or even enhance a patient’s smile!
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
Several x-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth, in order to determine exactly what bone and gum tissue are available for an implant. These precise measurements will help the dentist determine the spacing.
Installation is performed by surgery into a numbed area. Implants are placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months. A second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place, depending on the type of implant.
With some 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. To ensure a precise fit, several fittings may be required. And so this step may span over one to two months to complete.
The artificial teeth then are securely attached to the implant after a healing period. This course of action provides excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
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.