Although there is no way to completely replace a natural tooth, dental implants are definitely the next best thing. In fact, they offer the look, feel, and function of natural teeth. Unlike other teeth replacement options like dentures and bridges, implants are firmly fixed within the mouth, as they are anchored within the jawbone.
Dental Implants Benefits
- Cannot slip, as dentures sometimes do
- Long-lasting and durable
- Prevents bone loss and shifting of teeth
Alternative treatments like dentures and bridges make fine choices for some people, but they are not meant to last forever. In contrast, dental implants should last for the rest of your life if you care for them correctly.
Having an artificial implant within your jawbone prevents the process of bone loss, which could otherwise affect your facial appearance over time. Implants also prevent nearby teeth from shifting into the empty space left by your missing tooth, helping to preserve your smile.
Evaluation for Dental Implants
Not everyone qualifies for dental implants. And there are situations when implants would not make sense, such as for replacing many teeth in a row.
One main requirement of receiving a dental implant is having adequate jawbone mass to support one. If you have a missing tooth, a process called resorption occurs. This means that the jawbone underneath the empty socket will begin melting away. Since a dental implant requires enough bone mass for implantation, this would normally disqualify such a patient.
Dental Implant Procedure
Getting a dental implant will take a few months to complete. The first part of the process is when your dentist will carry out a surgical procedure to implant a metal post within your jawbone. After three to six months, you will return for a follow-up appointment.
At your next appointment, your dentist will be attaching an abutment structure onto the implanted metal post. Its purpose is to allow for the connection of a dental crown to cap the entire implant and serve as a biting and chewing surface.
Dental Implant FAQ
Here are some frequently asked questions about dental implants:
If I’ve experienced bone loss, can I still receive an implant?
Those who have experienced bone loss at the proposed site for a dental implant can normally undergo a bone graft procedure. This involves the implantation of donor bone into the site. After this donated bone is incorporated into the surrounding jawbone, you should have enough bone to receive a dental implant, although this naturally adds somewhat to the expense and length of the entire process.
How should I care for my dental implants?
After receiving your dental implant, there is nothing special that you need to do. But it’s vitally important that you maintain proper oral hygiene so that the gums that surround and support your implant, and your other teeth, are not undermined by gum disease.
Schedule Your Consultation
Are you interested to learn if you would qualify to receive a dental implant? Or would you like to receive more information about this type of tooth replacement? If so, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to request additional information or to schedule a dental implant consultation.