Dental Implants are another alternative to replacing missing teeth. An implant is replacing the tooth root with a strong post that is used to anchor a permanent replacement tooth.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The first step is to insert the root replacement which is a small titanium post. It is planted into the jaw bone of the tooth socket. The jaw bone will grow around the post creating a secure anchor in the jaw. This healing process will take somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks.
Once the new implant is securely bonded to the jawbone, another connector post (called an abutment) is attached to the new root post. This connector post will be used to attach the new replacement tooth or crown. This part of the process is very similar to the dental crown experience. Your dentist will make a mold and the dental lab will create the new crown. This replacement tooth can be color matched to your existing teeth for a beautiful result.
While this process sounds intimidating and painful, the majority of implant patients state that this procedure involves very little discomfort. Local anesthesia is used to take care of the pain. There may be some mild soreness experienced after the procedure, but nothing that some over the counter pain relievers can’t control.
Dental Implant Benefits
Most people are good candidates for dental implants as long as they are in relatively good health and have enough jawbone to grow around the implant. The benefits of getting a dental implant are many:
- Improved Appearance – A dental implant can be matched to your surrounding teeth and no one will know the difference.
- Improved Health – Dental implants don’t require the alteration or reduction of any surrounding teeth to support the implant. The health of your remaining teeth is intact giving you a much higher long-term oral health success rate.
- Strength – Your dental implant is strong and can last for years. In many cases, your implant will last a lifetime.
- Improved Self-Esteem – Dental implants provide greater convenience over dentures. You will have the confidence of being able to eat the foods you want to eat, and speaking without your dentures slipping. Dental implant maintenance is no different than the care you give your other teeth versus removing dentures for cleaning and adhesives.
- High Success Rate – in general, dental implants have a 98% success rate