What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium anchors that are set into the jawbone and hold replacement, or prosthetic, teeth in place. The body of the implant sits beneath the gum line and the visible tooth, or crown, is attached to the body of the implant. Implants look and feel much like natural teeth and can support individual artificial teeth, bridges, or dentures/partials.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Dental implants are an option for patients who have lost one or more teeth, cannot chew or smile comfortably, or are unhappy with dentures/partials. Candidates for dental implants must be in overall good health and have strong gums and bones. Patients must follow excellent oral hygiene, which includes brushing, flossing and regular dental examinations. Patients with a high risk of developing periodontal or gum disease, such as smokers and diabetics, may not be good candidates for dental implants. Dentists will review the patient’s oral health and take X-rays to determine their eligibility.
What is the dental implantation process?
Following a consultation with the doctor to determine if implants are the best option, the dental implant procedure involves several steps:
The First Step – One or more implants are precisely placed into the jawbone to mirror the location of the root of the missing natural tooth.
The Second Step – After four to six months of healing time has taken place, to allow for the implant to fuse within the bone, impressions of the teeth and bite are taken to custom fabricate a connector post, called an abutment. The dental lab will also fabricate custom crown, bridge or denture that will sit on top of the abutment.
The Final Step – The abutment and crown are attached to the implant, and the process is complete.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants fit securely and allow patients to chew normally. They are cosmetically similar to natural teeth, so patients can smile without being self-conscious. Implants also prevent bone loss in the in the jawbone that can accompany tooth loss.
What are the risks of dental implant surgery?
Dental implant surgery is a relatively safe procedure. As with any other surgery, some risks may exist and may include complications like excessive bleeding and a reaction to anesthesia. The dentist will discuss the risks in greater detail prior to the surgery.
Will the new teeth feel natural?
Absolutely! Dental implants look and feel much like natural teeth. They are made to mimic real teeth and are fused to the jawbone, so they feel secure. When used in combination with a denture, or other prosthetic, implants give far better retention and keep the prosthetic in place. They are often more comfortable and fit better than other replacement options and are the closest you can come to replacing a missing natural tooth.