Implant technology has completely changed over the past few years and they offer the durability and structure that you need for a lifelong restoration.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant can be used to replace a tooth that’s missing or to keep a denture plate firmly in place. Implant technology has completely changed over the past few years and they offer the durability and structure that you need for a lifelong restoration. Implants are permanent, so once they have healed properly, you can expect an entire lifetime of a beautiful smile. Implants rely on a process that is known as osseointegration. Osseointegration occurs when your natural bone grows in and around a foreign object in the body. In this case, the foreign object is the implant and the process helps to stabilize the post to provide an abutment for a dental crown.
Why might you need a Dental Implant?
You might want or need an implant if you’re completely missing a natural tooth. In the past, your only two choices for replacing a missing tooth were to wear a partial denture or have a fixed bridge placed on the two surrounding teeth. Both of these options are still incredibly beneficial for many patients, but implants do not require the need for a removable appliance or having to file down surrounding teeth. Alternatively, patients who wear ill-fitting dentures and want a more confident fit may have implants placed that snap onto the appliance. Both the dental crown and the denture need to be custom made to fit over the implants that have healed. Osseointegration of the implant can take about five months, but it may occur quicker for some or take as much as six to seven months for others.
What makes you a candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants require oral surgery to carefully place. The implant post is placed deep into the bone of the jaw, so you will receive anesthetic or sedation as needed. Prior to the surgery, we will discuss what type of sedation you want or need for the procedure to be done. Some patients are fine with local anesthetic, especially if only one implant is being placed. Others benefit from partial to full sedation so that they do not have to worry about the surgery being uncomfortable or unbearable for them while it is being done. The surgery requires that you have good bone density in order for osseointegration to take place effectively. Some patients may require a bone graft prior to surgery if they do not have sufficient bone mass. If you have a disorder or disease that inhibits your body from healing, you may not be eligible for the implant surgery.
What should you expect when having Dental Implants placed?
The first step is administering anesthetic of your choosing. Once the area is numb or you have been sedated, a tiny incision is made through the gums to expose the bone underneath. A tool is used to create a canal-like tube in the bone so that it can house the implant post. The implant post is screwed into place and the incision is closed with sutures. In some cases, a retainer may be used to keep the implant in place while it is healing, though this isn’t often needed. You will need to come into the office regularly to have the implant examined to ensure osseointegration is occurring naturally. In the rare case that the implant fails, you’ll need to have it removed and may require a bone grafting to place a new one.
If you’re interested in dental implants or want to know more about how they work, call our office and we will work to get you in for a consultation appointment.