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Answers to 7 common questions about dental implants.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants provide a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth that closely resemble the look of your natural teeth.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

Dental implants offer many significant advantages. This includes:

  • A better appearance. Implants look and feel just like your original teeth, but they’re not as strong as natural teeth. They’re made from titanium, which fuses with the bone, so they become a permanent part of your mouth.
  • Improved speech. If you have poorly fitting dentures, you know how teeth can slip within your mouth, causing you to slur words. Because dental implants are permanently fixed, they allow you to speak without any slippage concerns that would otherwise hinder your ability to speak clearly.
  • Better comfort. Implants eliminate the discomfort associated with removable dental prostheses.
    It makes eating more accessible. Moving dentures can be a constant concern for people who wear them. Implants are just like your natural teeth, so you can eat whatever you want without worrying about them falling out.
  • Less evasive. Implants don’t need to be supported by adjacent teeth, like tooth-supported bridges. Since the nearby teeth aren’t altered, you retain more of your teeth, which improves long-term oral health.
  • Durability. Implants are long-lasting and will last for many years. In fact, with proper care, implants can last a lifetime.
  • Convenience. Dental implants eliminate any constant inconvenience of removing dentures and the hassle of messy adhesives to hold them securely in place. Dental implants also improve oral hygiene by allowing much easier access between teeth.

What is involved in getting a dental implant?

The first step in developing a personalized plan for a dental implant procedure is developing a detailed treatment plan. The plan is designed especially for your needs and is created by a team of experts who are specially trained and skilled in oral surgery and restorative dentistry. This team approach allows us to coordinate your care based on the best type of implant for you.

Next, the tooth implant, consisting of a small post made of titanium, attaches to the bone socket of your missing tooth. Once the jawbone has healed completely, it grows around the implants, anchoring them securely into place. It takes between six to twelve weeks for the healing process.

Once the implant has successfully been placed into the jawbone, it is connected to the crown utilizing a small connector post. A dental impression captures all of your teeth, even their type and arrangement. It’s used to create a mold of your mouth so that a dentist can create a custom crown for you. The new tooth or teeth is based on this model.

A crown is then attached to the tooth that was removed. Some patients may have attachments placed onto their implants that retain and support a removable denture.

Your dentist will also match the color of the teeth to your natural teeth, so they blend in better. The implant is securely placed within your jawbone, so your new teeth look like natural teeth.

How Painful Are Dental Implants?

Most people who’ve received dental implants report no significant complications during the procedure. Local anesthesia can be used during the procedure, and some patients report that implants involve far less pain than a tooth extraction.

After the dental implant procedure, you can treat mild soreness with over-the-­counter pain medications, such as Tylenol or Advil.

How do I take care of my dental implants?

Dental implants require the same care as natural teeth, including brushing, using an antibacteri­cal mouthwash regularly, and routine dental checkups.

Do dental implants last?

Unlike natural teeth, dental implants are not susceptible to decay. However, maintaining healthy gum tissue is vital to ensuring long-lasting implant success. Regular professional cleaning and maintenance are essential for dental implant longevity. Good home care for patients is also crucial. Each patient is different, so success depends on diagnosis and treatment, medical history, and other factors.

Can anyone get dental implants?

If you’re healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery, you’re probably healthy enough to receive an implant. People who need dental implants should have healthy gums and enough bone to support them. They also need to commit to good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. People who smoke heavily should be evaluated on an indi­vidual case by case basis. Those suffering from uncontrolled chronic diseases or having had radiation therapy to the head and neck area should be evaluated individually.

Before you decide whether to get implants, talk to your dentist first. If you have any further questions or would like a consultation, please contact us today.

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