If you are self-aware because of missing teeth, wear dentures that are uncomfortable, or don’t want to remove a good tooth structure to bridge, talk to your dentist to see if dental implants are a good fit for you.
Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and are designed to hide between the other teeth. They are an excellent long-term option to restore your smile.
The development and use of implants is one of the greatest advances in dentistry in the last 40 years. Dental implants are made of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body. These are screws that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a firm anchor for the replacement teeth.
Most patients find that a dental implant is safe, stable, and a good replacement for their own tooth. In general, there are three phases to get an implant:
First, the dentist surgically places the implant in the jawbone. Your dentist may recommend a soft food diet, cold food, and warm soups during the healing process.
Then, the bone around the implant is cured in a process called osseointegration. What makes an implant so strong is the bone that grows around it and keeps it in place. Osseointegration means “combines with bone,” and it takes time. Some patients may have to wait until the implant is fully integrated, up to several months, before the replacement teeth can be connected to the implant. Other patients may have implants and replacement teeth placed in one visit.
Finally, it is time to place the artificial tooth / teeth. For a single tooth implant, your dentist will create a new tooth for you, called a dental crown. The crown is based on size, shape, color, and shape and will be designed to blend with the other teeth. If you are replacing more than one tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures will fit your mouth and implants. (Note: Replacement teeth usually take some time to make.
In the meantime, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge, or denture to help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is ready.)
If you are interested in dental implants, it is a good idea to discuss it carefully with your dentist. If you are in good health, this treatment may be an option for you.
Chronic diseases, like diabetes or leukemia, can interfere with healing after surgery. Patients with these problems are not good candidates for implants.