Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. They are better than other alternatives like bridges because no additional teeth need to be altered to place the new tooth.
Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way when it comes to restoring your smile. There are many options that vary in price, safety and durability. The latest in smile restoration are dental implants. This is a permanent implant that replaces missing teeth or a permanent fixture that holds full dentures in place. Dental implants can last you the rest of your life with proper dental hygiene checkups, brushing and flossing.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium screw like structure that is surgically inserted into a space where a tooth is missing. After the screw is inserted, it is covered with a crown that looks just like a real tooth, so anyone who sees your smile would never know that it was not a real tooth.
How will an implant help me?
The implant helps to stabilize bone and prevent further bone loss due to missing teeth, it supports the facial skeleton, gums, cheeks and lips. Dental implants help you eat, smile, speak and they look completely natural. Implants are the best option to replace missing teeth.
What kind of surgery do I need?
The surgery itself is an outpatient procedure only requiring a localized numbing of the area being operated on. (Of course, when it comes to pain management there are options that general or specialized dentists can provide such as oral sedation or nitrous oxide to make the experience less unpleasant.) In special cases, a sinus lift or bone graft may be needed in order to make the implant a successful procedure.
In the simple form of the procedure, a pilot hole is drilled into the bone that the implant will be placed in. This will guide the implant to ensure an accurate and stable placement. Depending on the dentist performing the implant and if a sinus lift is involved, the surgery for a single implant can vary between 1-2 hours.
How long will the implant last?
A dental implant, with the proper care of your oral hygiene, should last for the rest of your life. The screw is usually made out of titanium (Ask your Dentist what type of material is used) and the ceramic crown is made to last. For a person who goes to the dentist for checkups on a regular basis and who brushes and flosses after every meal, a dental implant should last for the rest of your life. Just like anything though, you must take the proper care to make your investment last.
I think a dental implant is best for me, now what?
The first thing you need to do is see your dentist.
Your dentist can determine if an implant is the best option for you. There are many factors when it comes to implant surgery: your overall health, as well as your oral health can affect the success rate of your implant. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to discuss any health concerns with your regular dentist or specialist.
In some cases, a CT scan, sinus lift or bone graft may be necessary in order to make a dental implant a success. In most cases, these can be taken care of during the same surgery as the dental implant, so no additional surgeries would be necessary.
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