What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a surgically positioned support for an artificial tooth. These small anchors, typically made of titanium, act as substitutes for your natural tooth roots. Once placed, they bond with your bone to provide a strong foundation for a replacement tooth or bridge.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are ideal for individuals who are missing one or more teeth and are looking for a replacement that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth.
Those considering the procedure must have healthy gums and strong jaw bones. When the bone is unable to support an implant because it is too soft or thin, a bone graft may be required prior to placing the implant.
Candidates for dental implants must also be committed to maintaining their oral hygiene following the procedure. This includes brushing and flossing daily and visiting the dentist at least twice a year.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants are considered the next best thing to natural, healthy teeth and are known for their impressive benefits. For starters, they are built to last. With proper care and maintenance, they can last a lifetime, requiring only occasional adjustments.
Also, because they look, feel, and function like natural teeth, they will not interfere with everyday actions like
eating, speaking, and smiling. Additionally, they can prevent further deterioration in the jaw by stimulating bone growth.
What Is the Procedure Like?
Dental implant surgery, which is performed on an outpatient basis, requires two to three visits to your oral surgeon. Depending on the specifics of your case, the entire process can take anywhere from three to 12 months.
Following a consultation with your oral surgeon, you will be scheduled to have the implant placed in the jawbone. This will take approximately one hour. At your second visit, typically three to six months later, a small post (or abutment) is attached to the implant. At this point you will be released back to your restorative dentist to have the crown (tooth) fabricated and placed on the implant. HS