If you suffer from tooth loss, dental implants can restore your smile and confidence by enhancing your functionality and overall oral health. Known as one of the most secure and long-lasting tooth replacement options available, dental implants can seamlessly blend in with the rest of your teeth so you can start smiling again.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be right for you. Implants can restore the look and function of your smile and bite, enhancing your overall oral health. Made of durable materials, dental implants can last a lifetime, and seamlessly blend in with the rest of your natural teeth so you can smile with confidence.
First, your dentist will meet with you to find out if dental implants are right for your oral health needs. They’ll perform a thorough exam of your mouth, including going over your x-rays and ensuring your jaw bone is healthy enough to support implants. Together, you and your dentist will decide if dental implants will provide the restoration your smile needs, or if your grin would be better suited to alternative restorative options.
Once you’ve been approved for treatment, your dentist will schedule your oral surgery appointment and provide a surgical plan. During the surgery, your dentist will open your gum tissue slightly to securely place a dental implant in the jaw. Your dentist will complete the procedure by cleaning the area and adding sutures to begin the healing process.
Your gums will begin to heal once your implants have been placed. Most patients heal completely from surgery within 1-2 weeks. In a process called “osseointegration,” the dental implant will take between 3-6 months to permanently bond with your jaw bone.
While your implant is bonding with your jaw, you’ll visit our office for a few follow-up appointments to ensure the healing process is going properly. Your dentist will examine your mouth and take impressions of your bite. These impressions will be sent to our trusted dental lab, where they will craft the custom crown, bridge, or arch of teeth that will eventually be fitted to your dental implant.
Once the lab has sent over your completed prosthetic, and your implant has completely bonded with your natural bone, you’ll visit us again for your final appointment. During this visit, your dentist will complete the procedure by attaching the restoration to your dental implant, and permanently securing it with dental cement or another adhesive.
One of the major advantages to dental implants is that they don’t require specialized care. Just practice good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily, and visit your dentist every six months for regular cleanings and oral exams. Keeping up good oral health habits can help your dental implant last a lifetime.
Dental implants are made of two main parts: the implant itself, which is a screw-shaped titanium “post”, and the restorative component, usually a dental crown and abutment. A wide range of post sizes are available to ensure every patient gets an implant that fits their smile perfectly. On the other hand, the restoration is a custom-made prosthetic. Once your dentist has completed the placement of your dental implant, they will create impressions of your teeth and gums to send to a dental lab.
The lab will use these impressions to craft a long-lasting dental implant restoration. Most are crafted out of porcelain or another durable composite material. Once the restoration is complete, the lab will send it back to our office, and you’ll come in for your final visit. Your dentist will complete the restoration by securely affixing your dental prosthetic to your implant.
Placed properly, and maintained with good oral hygiene habits, dental implants can last for decades. It’s very common for patients to keep their implants for the rest of their lives.
The restoration, on the other hand, may not last as long. Although restorations like dental crowns, bridges, or overdentures are made from durable materials, they are still exposed to regular wear from chewing and biting. Over time, restorations will likely need to be replaced to keep your smile healthy and functional.
Although it’s a rare complication, dental implants can become infected. Known as “peri-implantitis,” a dental implant infection is generally the result of the implant not being kept clean or cared for properly after surgery.
To avoid peri-implantitis and maintain your oral health, carefully follow your dentist’s instructions during recovery, and be sure to brush and floss regularly once your implant is healed.
Yes. Bone resorption, or bone loss, occurs when your jaw is no longer stimulated by the natural pressure that comes from chewing and biting. Losing a tooth stops this regular stimulation, causing the jaw bone to weaken over time.
Dental implants bond directly with the jaw bone, acting as artificial roots that transmit the force of chewing and biting into your jaw bone, providing stimulation and pressure to keep you from losing bone density.
There are indeed several types of dental implants that can be completed in a single visit. The restoration will be a temporary appliance to keep your bite functional until you have finished healing from your dental implant placement surgery. With this temporary restoration, you’ll be able to speak and eat normally throughout the healing process.
Throughout the healing process, which usually lasts between 3-6 months, your dentist will schedule a series of follow-up visits, to monitor your progress and to take impressions of your teeth. These impressions will be sent to our dental lab, where they will be used to create your own custom-made restoration, which will be a more permanent, durable, and natural-looking prosthetic than your temporaries.