What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are tiny posts placed surgically into the jawbone where teeth are missing. Usually made of titanium, these little anchors act as substitutes for your natural tooth roots. They bond with your bone to create a strong foundation for a replacement tooth or bridge.
How They Can Help
Implants provide the foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth – allowing patients to eat normally again and smile with confidence. Consequently, they can be game changers for people who have lost or damaged teeth due to gum disease (the most common reason), tooth grinding, acute trauma, or tooth decay. Dental implants also provide protection from further bone deterioration.
Benefits of Dental Implants:
• They are a long-term solution. With proper care, an implant can
last a lifetime.
• They are considered a “conservative” treatment approach. Unlike fixed bridges, implants don’t require shaping or cutting of healthy teeth.
• They offer more stability and comfort than removable dentures.
• They help preserve bone and can reduce need for subsequent procedures.
What is the procedure like?
Dental implant surgery is performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. In the past, it required three visits to complete the process – a first visit to place the implant in the jawbone, a second visit three to six months later to attach a small post (or abutment), and a third visit to complete the tooth restoration.
However, recent advances in dental implant technology now allow oral and maxillofacial surgeons to perform the first two steps – the implant and the post – at the same time. Called a “single stage” implant, this procedure can cut months off of your treatment time. Following the surgery, you will only need around six weeks of healing time before your artificial tooth can be placed.