Dental implants provide a permanent solution for missing teeth, relieving the patient from the hassle associated with partial or complete dentures. They are artificial roots and teeth that are custom crafted for your dentition and surgically placed into the jawbone by a dentist or periodontist—a specialist of the gums and supporting bone. Though made of titanium for strength, dental implants look very natural and often enhance the patient’s smile. Strong, stable, and durable, dental implants will last many years, though they sometimes require re-tightening or replacement due to normal wear.
What can dental implants correct?
- Missing teeth
- Joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into vacant spaces
- Cosmetic problems with one’s smile
- Improper chewing
- Problems with chewing, speech, and digestion
- The need for removable partial dentures
- Misaligned facial tissues
What’s the procedure for getting dental implants?
Getting dental implants requires a number of visits over several months. The dentist will begin by taking x-rays and impressions, or molds, of the jaw and teeth to gather information about bone tissue, gum tissue, and available spacing for implants. Once the implants are crafted from the molds, the dentist will numb the patient and surgically place them into the bone. Healing and proper bone integration can take up to six months.
Some implants come with pre-attached posts where others may require a second surgery for placement of the posts that anchor the artificial teeth. Once the posts are in place and the mouth is fully healed, the dentist will mount the artificial teeth. Since adjustment may be necessary, several fitting sessions are often required over the course of one to two months. When tooth alignment is confirmed and healing is complete, the dentist permanently secures the artificial teeth to the implant, providing long-term stability and comfort for the patient.
The dentist will provide care instructions when the treatment is complete. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits all aid in the life of your new implants.