Tooth loss, due to decay, advanced gum disease, or injury, is still fairly common among adults. In years past, dental patients only had dentures or bridges to choose from. Today, we are proud to offer dental implants, which are a sophisticated and durable way to replace missing teeth and restore a smile.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are designed to mimic a natural tooth. The implant consists of a tiny metal screw that is implanted into the gums to serve as an artificial tooth root. A replacement tooth is then adhered to the implant to restore the look of your natural smile. Dental implants are designed to look and feel like your natural teeth – they are fused directly to the bone, making them a permanent replacement. Other advantages to implants include:
- Improved speech – ill-fitting dentures may not be secure in the mouth, causing them to move around. This can make you sound as if you are slurring or mumbling. Dental implants stay in place so they don’t negatively impact your speech.
- More comfortable – Because implants are secured into your bone, they become a part of your natural smile. They won’t irritate you or cause discomfort.
- Easier to eat – Dentures can slide around in your mouth, making biting and chewing more difficult.
- Better oral health – Dental implants don’t require any work to your natural teeth, allowing you to preserve your natural smile while improving its aesthetics. Replacing missing teeth ensures other teeth don’t drift and alter your bite.
- Increased self-esteem – Correcting your smile can improve your self-esteem and help you greet the world with confidence.
- Increased durability – Dental implants are designed to be durable and last for years. With proper care, your implant can last your lifetime.
What is the process for getting dental implants?
Getting a dental implant is an involved process that takes more than one visit, but it is worth it. First, you’ll visit one of our cosmetic dentists who will evaluate your smile and craft a customized treatment plan.
Your implant will be placed by our maxillofacial surgery specialist. The implant is a tiny titanium post that we place directly into the bone. This provides exceptional stability for the tooth restoration to sit. After the implant is placed, you will need to take some time to allow your jaw to heal completely. During this process, which can take between six and 12 weeks, your jaw will grow around the implant, ensuring that it is secured properly into the jaw.
Once fully healed, you’ll visit our cosmetic dentist to have a connector post attached to the implant. This is called an abutment and it will ensure your replacement tooth will fit onto the implant securely.
To create your new tooth, we’ll take impressions and digital images of your teeth to provide us a model from which to create the new tooth. Once this tooth, called a crown, is ready we will attach it to the abutment piece. We take great care to match the color of your crown to that of your natural teeth so it will blend in seamlessly. Your implant will look, feel and function just like a natural tooth.
Are implants painful?
Many people report that there is little pain involved during the procedure. We use local anesthesia to ensure the process involves as little discomfort as possible. There may be some mild pain after the procedure, however, an over-the-counter pain medication can relieve any discomfort.
Dental implants are an excellent way to restore missing teeth, improve confidence and return to normal life with a smile that will last. Call our office today for a consultation.