What is a dental implant?

dental implant

Tooth loss is incredibly common here in America. Although it’s common, it doesn’t take away from the embarrassment people feel when they suffer from tooth loss, along with the stigma that is attached to missing teeth. Common solutions to tooth loss includes removable prosthetics like dentures and bridges, however, they require additional care on top of what you would normally do to your teeth and tend to slip or allow food particles under them. This is frustrating and embarrassing.

For patients seeking a more permanent solution we recommend dental implants. These are a permanent solution to tooth loss that can replace a single tooth or an entire mouth.

How do dental implants work?

The implant process is lengthy and occurs over several visits. Metal posts are implanted into your jaw through a surgical procedure. Once the posts set, permanent crowns are affixed to the top of the posts. The best thing about dental implants is that they are cared for like your natural teeth. This means that your regular routine won’t have to include additional steps and you don’t have to worry about prosthetics impacting your speech patterns.

When you visit Dr. Smith for a consultation, he’ll perform a thorough exam. He’ll look for signs of infection, take note of anything that needs to be healed or removed before the actual implant procedure is started, and take impressions of your mouth that will allow him to understand the shape of your mouth.

During the second visit, which only happens once you’ve been cleared for surgery, Dr. Smith will remove any portions of bone and tissue that are infected. If needed he will use a bone graft to strengthen areas of weakness in your jaw and implant the metal rod that will eventually hold your permanent crown. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia, so you’ll need a friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment.

We also affix a temporary crown to the metal post so that you don’t feel self-conscious while you’re healing.

Healing from the first stage of the implant process takes several months. Once you’re totally healed you’ll come in to have permanent crowns affixed to your implant or implants. These function like your normal teeth.

What are dental implants like?

Implants provide patients with security and confidence. While the process is long, patients that get implants are always pleased with not just the appearance, but the functionality of these prosthetics.

How do I care for implants?

Caring for implants is just like caring for your natural teeth. And though they aren’t real teeth, it’s important that you still brush twice a day, floss daily, and get in for cleanings twice a year. This ensures surrounding tissue and bone is kept healthy. It’s also important that you stay away from processed foods. Essentially, implants will be successful as long as you care for them using a proper oral hygiene routine.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

The ideal candidate for dental implants will be in good overall health and treated prior to surgery for any existing oral issues (like infections, periodontitis, etc.). The best way to know you’re a candidate for dental implants is to come in for a consultation.

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