Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and are designed to blend in with your other teeth. They are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile. Dental implants are made up of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body.
They are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement of teeth. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth to them
Advantages of Dental Implants:
- Look and feel like your own teeth
- Improves speech without teeth slipping as in dentures
- Comfortable and eliminates the removal of dentures
- Eating is easier with confidence and without pain
- Implants are very durable and will last many years
Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. A treatment plan will be the first step in the dental implant process and coordination with dentists who are specifically trained in oral and restorative dentistry. Local anesthesia can be used during the procedures and most patients report that implants involve less pain than a tooth extraction.
To begin the process, a small post made of titanium, called the tooth root implant, is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the bone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post anchoring it securely in the jaw. Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, an abutment (a small connector post), is attached securely to hold the new tooth.
To make the new tooth or teeth, your dentist makes impressions of your teeth and creates a model of your bite, which your new tooth or teeth will be based on this model. A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment. Your dentist will match the color of the new tooth to your natural teeth. Because the implant is secured within the jawbone, the replacement toot/teeth look, feel, and function just like your own natural teeth.
After the dental implant, mild soreness can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol or Motrin.
Dental implants require the same care as real teeth, including brushing, flossing, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash and regular dental checkups.