Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.
Dental implants are artificial roots made out of titanium that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist or Periodontist - a specialist of the gums and supporting bone. Crowns can be attached to these implants to fully restore the function and esthetics that were lost with the missing tooth. Implants can also be used to attach dentures to. This can be a life changing treatment for patients with dentures. Implants can keep dentures locked into place, and stop them from moving around, providing a confidence and comfort denure wearers have dreamed of for years.
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.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place a "healing cap." A healing cap helps form the shape of the gums for the final restoration.
After several weeks of healing, the implants will be ready to restore. Depending on the type of restoration planned, impressions will be taken, and artificial teeth (usually either crowns or dentures) will be be attached to the implants via an abutment (an abutment is a connector that attaches the implant to the restoration). When completed, in most cases the final resporations can be treated more or less like real teeth. Your smile and function should be fully restored!
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.