If you’ve been told that what’s standing between you and a great smile is a dental implant, don’t despair. These days, restoring your smile is a lot easier, quicker and less traumatic than it once was, thanks to state-of-the art technology.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that your dentist can place into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth, bridge or denture. You are a candidate for implant restoration if you are in good general and oral health but may have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Dental implants and their restorations look and feel very natural, and they are more “tooth-friendly” than traditional bridgework, since they don’t rely on your neighboring teeth for support.
What will happen during the process? It’s a surgical procedure where the dental implants will be placed into areas of the jaw bone where teeth are already missing, or sometimes they can be placed into the socket of a tooth immediately after it is removed. The implant is made of titanium, a biologically acceptable material that allows bone attachment to anchor it securely to the jaw. In select circumstances, the implants can be used to support temporary crowns or dentures immediately after surgery. More often, after three or four months of healing, we will make impression molds to record the position of the implants and teeth and then our laboratory will fabricate the restoration. We will often attach a small connector post, called an abutment, to the implant. The new replacement tooth or teeth will be secured to the abutment with cement or screws. Care is taken to match the color of your restoration to your natural teeth.
We’ve heard from many of our patients that there is very little discomfort involved during and after the procedure. Sedation is used, when needed, along with local anesthesia to ensure the process is as pain and anxiety free as possible. Under proper conditions, including diligent cleaning and maintenance, implants can last a lifetime.
If you wear dentures, you have a range of options. Your implants can allow for the dentures to be removable or not depending upon your individual situation and needs.
So if you have been hiding your smile because of missing teeth, you have difficulty chewing, or your dentures don’t feel secure – dental implants may be for you. Dental implants can help improve your quality of life and boost your confidence. Call us today for an appointment to restore your smile!