Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed (you don't take it off) solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (made usually of titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone. The teeth attached to implants can be very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile and function or ability to chew!
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they do fail and will need to be replaced or repaired, much like natural teeth.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, and improve speech.
Restore or enhance facial tissues (decrease some wrinkles).
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 the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. Sometimes the implants with the post and crown are already attached and placed at the same time (a final crown will need to be made and placed).
After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete. After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
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.