What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium anchors implanted into the jawbone that hold replacement teeth in place. The root of the implant sits in the jawbone beneath the gum line and the visible tooth, or crown, is attached to the root. Implants look and feel much like natural teeth. They support individual artificial teeth, bridges, and dentures.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Dental implants are an option for patients who have lost one or more teeth, cannot chew or smile comfortably, or are unhappy with dentures. Candidates for dental implants must be in overall good health and have strong gums and bones. Patients must follow excellent oral hygiene, which includes brushing, flossing and regular dental examinations. Patients with a high risk of developing periodontal or gum disease, such as smokers and diabetics, may not be good candidates for dental implants. Dentists will review the patient’s oral health and take X-rays to determine their eligibility.
What is the dental implantation process?
The dental implant procedure involves several steps:
- One or more implants are precisely placed into the jaw bone to mirror the location of the root of the missing natural tooth.
- After appropriate healing time has taken place, to allow for the implant to fuse within the bone, impressions of the teeth and bite are taken to custom fabricate a connector post or abutment, and crown.
- The abutment and crown are attached to the implant, completing the process.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants fit securely and allow patients to chew normally. They are cosmetically similar to natural teeth, so patients can smile without being self-conscious. Implants also prevent decay in the jawbone that can accompany tooth loss.
What are the risks of dental implant surgery?
Dental implant surgery is a relatively safe procedure. As with any other surgery, some risks may exist. These risks may include complications from surgery, such as excessive bleeding and a reaction to anesthesia. The dentist will discuss the risks in greater detail prior to the surgery.
Will the new teeth feel natural?
Yes, dental implants look and feel much like natural teeth. They are constructed to mimic real teeth and are fused to the jawbone so they feel secure. Implants are often more comfortable and fit better than other replacement options.