A dental implant may be an ideal choice for tooth restoration when you are missing one or more teeth. They are a titanium root form that is surgically placed into the jaw. Once the implant is in place and the bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, a replacement tooth or bridge is attached to the implant(s). Implants may be a more favorable approach than a bridge since they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support. Implants can help further stabilize dentures that have become loose due to the progressive loss of bone as well.
Dental implants are always personalized to the functional and cosmetic needs of a patient. They are sized, shaped and color-matched for aesthetics. Implants are often chosen by patients seeking the most natural looking and feeling of tooth replacement options, primarily because dental implants are fixed and designed to match the surrounding teeth.
Are dental implants right for me?
You may qualify for dental implants if you have missing, broken or severely decayed teeth and are in relatively good overall health. The only way of determining your eligibility for implants is to consult with an oral care provider to identify whether you have adequate bone support and healthy gums that will support the new tooth structure.
What should I expect if my dentist and I decide dental implants are right for me?
The placement of dental implants is a multi-step process that typically takes between 6 and 9 months to complete. It begins with a surgical procedure during which a titanium rod is placed where a previous natural tooth root once was. The gums are sutured shut over the implant, where is will stay for several months while it heals and begins fusing with the surrounding bone. Due to the nature of implant placement and its average procedure time of between 1 and 2 hours, you’ll be sedated and/or anesthetized for the duration of the treatment. At the conclusion of the healing period, you’ll return to be fitted for permanent crowns and have them placed.
What type of post-treatment care will I require?
It is normal to experience some discomfort, including bruising and swelling following a dental implant procedure. However, inflammation and pain may be managed with over-the-counter medications, hydrocodone, or codeine. You may be asked to eat only soft foods for approximately 2 weeks until the surgical site heals.