Teeth play more of a role in your life than simply chewing your food. They affect your overall health, speech, and self-esteem as well. When any teeth are missing, it will likely make you feel uncomfortable and desire to find a way to restore your smile. Luckily, dental implants can come to the rescue.
One of the latest and best treatment options for missing teeth are dental implants. They provide a permanent, comfortable, and natural-looking restoration. Implants allow patients to avoid some of the hassles associated with dentures or bridges, such as slipping appliances or tedious cleaning. Not every patient is a good candidate for implants though, as dentists must perform a complete dental examination and medical history to ensure the patient would likely be a successful implant patient. Jaw bone condition, as well as general health, are both of utmost concern.
If a patient is determined to be an acceptable implant candidate, the procedure involves surgically inserting a titanium post into the jaw bone. It might be one post for a single missing tooth, or more posts for multiple teeth. It serves as an anchor to support the complete implant. A portion of the post is above the gum line to create an abutment for the dental implant, or crown that will be placed on top.
The area must completely heal before the implant can be finalized. Healing usually takes a few months, allowing the titanium post to fuse with the jaw bone. Once healing is complete, an artificial tooth or crown may be placed on top and the restoration will be functional and attractive.
With proper maintenance, dental implants will last for many years. Care involves normal brushing and flossing, and regular dental checkups and cleanings. Your dentist will make sure that you continue to have good fit and use of the implant, and watch for any damage or problems that might arise. Early detection and repair of issues will allow you to enjoy good oral health and a beautiful smile.