Article at a Glance
- Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that act as anchors for replacement teeth or crowns.
- There are several benefits to dental implants including appearance, function, comfort, and durability.
- The procedure will take several months, but your new tooth will be custom-made and permanent.
- Caring for dental implants is the same as caring for your natural teeth. Follow a good oral care routine and see your dentist twice a year.
Despite advances in dental care, many people struggle with lost teeth due to oral disease, tooth decay, or accidents. Dental implants are an excellent option for people looking for a natural-appearing replacement.
What are Dental Implants?
Basically, a dental implant is a replacement tooth root. It is an anchor for a replacement tooth, crown, or set of teeth. Dental implants are fused to the jawbone and then capped to resemble and act like your natural teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth and an excellent option for restoring your smile. There are several benefits of dental implants as replacements for broken, chipped, or missing teeth. Some of those benefits include:
- They look and feel like your natural teeth.
- Dental implants are more comfortable than other options because they become a part of you.
- Eating and speaking are easier with dental implants than with the alternatives because they can’t slip and there are no limitations to the foods you can eat.
- Dental implants are more durable and convenient than other options.
Types of Dental Implants
There are different options for dental implants depending on the number of teeth that are missing and your oral health. You’ll have to decide with your dentist which option is best for you, but it’s a good idea to understand the differences beforehand.
The most common type of implant is the endosteal implant which involves inserting a metal implant into the jawbone, waiting for the area around the implant to heal, and then attaching an artificial tooth to the base.
For patients with shallow jawbones, a subperiosteal implant may be suggested. This type of implant involves placing a metal frame under the gums but above the jawbone. Posts protrude from the gums and the artificial teeth are attached to them.
There is another choice to discuss that combines the concept of dental implants with dentures for a more stable fit. Implant-retained dentures, or implant-supported dentures involve thin metal attachments that are connected to your jawbone. They can either be bar-retained or ball-retained, but both involve the dentures attaching to the implants.
What to Expect From Your Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant process can take several months depending on your situation, but it begins with a custom-made treatment plan established with your dentist. When you’ve decided on which type of implant you’d like, the tooth root is placed in the bone socket where you lost the tooth. At this point, you’ll have to wait six to twelve weeks for the jawbone to heal and create a secure attachment. Once everything is healed, another post is placed on the implant and the gum tissue heals around it. Finally, after everything is healed, the replacement tooth is attached.
Keep in mind that some people, like smokers and those with degenerated gums and jaw bones, may require additional time and work to be candidates for dental implants which can lengthen the process.
Caring for Your Dental Implant
Dental implants are designed to look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. This means you’ll have to follow a good oral care routine and see your dentist twice a year for check-ups and professional cleanings. If you have pain or infection around your implant, contact your dentist immediately.
If you’re interested in pursuing dental implants, the professionals and Jefferson Dental Care are ready to help you get the smile of your dreams. Contact the office nearest you to make an appointment.