Tooth loss is a real and serious problem. Whether through trauma or decay, a lot of people will lose at least one tooth in their lifetime. When they’re gone, it can make it difficult to eat and speak normally, and they may even contribute to structural problems as the rest of your teeth begin to shift.
It wasn’t that long ago that most people believed that the only way to replace these teeth was with dentures, which had developed an image of uncomfortable, loose-fitting appliances that still didn’t let you eat all your favorite foods.
Dental implants changed all of that, and now you can replace your missing teeth and restore your smile with a solution that feels, looks, and functions just like your natural teeth.
The Benefits of an Implant
Dental implants have become the most popular option for replacing teeth because they offer a number of significant advantages, including:
- A better appearance – The crowns are custom made to fit perfectly in your mouth and appear just like your natural teeth.
- Durability – An implant can last for years, if not decades.
- A natural feeling – They feel just like the rest of your teeth.
- Normal functionality – You’ll be able to eat your favorite foods and speak without slurring words or making strange whistling noises.
- A permanent solution – Implants become a part of your jaw, so you don’t have to deal with the irritation of improperly fitted dentures.
- Simple maintenance – You can clean implants just like you do the rest of your teeth. There are no messy adhesives and no need to soak them in a solution overnight.
The Implant Procedure
There are three parts of an implant: the actual titanium implant, the abutment, and the crown. First, we use the titanium “root” to anchor the new tooth because this metal has some special properties that make is particularly effective. Bone actually fuses to the screw, creating a very strong bond.
It will take some time for the bone to heal around the titanium (between 6 and 12 weeks), so this is a procedure that will take some time. Once it has completely fused together, we can place the abutment (the connector) and then crown.
The crown will be custom made to fit in place. The current digital technology allows us to ensure that the results are exactly what you need to get the aesthetic appearance and normal functionality you need.
While this is certainly a more involved procedure than something like a simple filling, most patients do report that there is less discomfort than they expected, and any soreness after the procedure can usually be treated with normal, over-the-counter pain medication.
Are You a Candidate for Implants?
Almost anyone who is missing a tooth is a candidate for an implant, but there are a few situations in which you may need a special consultation before we know if we can go ahead with the procedure.
For example, anyone who is a heavy smoker or has uncontrolled chronic conditions (such as diabetes or heart disease) may have other requirements before we can start. Also, if there is not enough mass in the jaw bone to support the implant, we may need to do a bone graft first to make sure that the architecture exists for a quality, durable implant.
Revitalizing Your Smile
A missing tooth can even go beyond the health and physical problems and cause a lot of embarrassment. People will hide their smiles and change the way they speak to try and cover the fact that one of their teeth has gone missing.
An implant can revitalize your smile so you don’t have to hide it away anymore. The results are stable, strong, and always look great.