What are dental implants and will they work for me?
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth, and they often provide a better solution for missing teeth than partial or complete dentures. Unlike dentures, implants are a fixed solution, and they provide excellent support for dental crowns, bridges, and dentures.
Dental implants are used to:Dental implants consist of artificial roots and teeth that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone; these implants are usually made of titanium. Once the implants are in place, the teeth are attached, providing patients a natural-looking and functional smile once again. Dental implants are designed to last patients for many years; however, they might require re-tightening on occasion and sometimes even replacement.
- Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth
- Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into a missing tooth’s space
- Restore a patient’s confident smile
- Restore chewing, speech, and digestion
- Restore or enhance facial tissues
- Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable
What is involved with getting implants?
Getting standard implants is a months-long process that requires several visits to the dentist.
To start the process off, x-rays and molds are taken of both the jaw and the teeth. These are used to determine the spacing available for an implant, and they also reveal the condition of the bone and gum tissue. The implant is surgically placed into the bone once the area is completely numb. It is then left to heal and integrate itself into the bone for a period of about 6 months. Some, though not all, implants require a second surgery to place the post that holds the artificial teeth. During the healing period you wear a temporary tooth on top of the site.
The patient is given several weeks for healing before the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the “post” of the anchor. This part of the process could take up to two months, as several fittings may be required to place everything properly. At the end of the healing period, the artificial teeth will be securely attached to the implant. Implants produce beautiful results and are the most modern, effective replacements for lost teeth.
Mini-implants can also be placed under dentures. They require less healing time, and can often be fitted with your denture the same day the implants are installed. This is an excellent way of anchoring and improving the fit of removable dentures and partials.
Care instructions will be given at each step of the process. As with any dental procedure, your implants will last longer if helped by good oral hygiene, healthy eating habits, and regular dental visits.
Learn more about dental implants – Contact your Salem dentists at Oak Park Family Dental.