Do you or a loved one have missing or badly broken teeth? Then dental implants might be a good option for restoring a beautiful and healthy smile!
Let’s take a look at what exactly dental implants are and what sort of benefits they can provide.
Dental Implants Defined
Let’s start by defining dental implants.
There are lots of cosmetic and restorative options out there—so there can be some confusion as to the difference between dental implants and dentures. In short, implants are artificial permanent structures that are surgically installed into a patient’s jawbone.
Dental implants are not easily removable like dentures. They consist of a screw-like device that acts as an anchor for an artificial tooth or crown. A durable porcelain or resin crown is applied to the implant and is custom-made to fit perfectly and match the natural tooth color.
Patients who receive dental implants are left with natural-looking and -feeling teeth that need to be cared for like their natural teeth! This makes for a much more durable option for many patients than dentures.
Who Are Implants Good For?
Dental implants are a good solution for healthy patients who may be missing a tooth, but have jawbones and gums that are still in good shape. Most patients who are healthy enough for routine oral surgeries such as extractions are generally also considered healthy enough for a dental implant!
Patients who are heavy smokers or who have chronic health problems may not be a good fit for this procedure. Make sure that you talk with your dentist about your health and needs.
Once it’s been determined that a dental implant is the right choice for you, it’s time to schedule an appointment for the procedure. It’s very important to follow any pre-operative instructions provided by the dentist!
On the day of the appointment, the dentist will start by using local anesthetic to numb the affected area. Once the anesthesia takes effect, a small incision is made in the gums to expose the jawbone.
A small hole is then drilled into the jawbone where the implant will be inserted. The drill is quick and quiet, making this procedure as minimally uncomfortable as possible!
The implant is then securely screwed into place, followed by a second component that will act as a “post” for the visible crown to be cemented onto. Sometimes, stitches are required to keep the gums closed over the base of the implant.
An impression is taken of the visible part of the implant, which is used to create a new crown. The crown is fabricated and then cemented over implant and post!