For anyone who is missing a tooth or even missing multiple teeth, dental implant surgery is a great alternative to outdated dentures or bridgework. Dental implants offer a long-lasting alternative that can drastically improve your smile as well as improve daily activities like chewing.
Some patients don’t consider dental implants because they incorrectly view it as a complex and painful procedure, but it is relatively straightforward and has many benefits. A dental implant is the next best thing to a natural tooth and can help to prevent bone damage that dentures or bridgework may cause. Dental implants are the closest thing you can get to real teeth and mimic the natural relationship of a tooth to the jawbone through a titanium post fused to the jawbone.
Prime candidates usually have damaged or missing teeth but still maintain good oral health. An implant is not a cure for all ailments and requires proper oral care. Through x-rays and physical examinations, your dentist will be able to plan the location of the implant.
After the patient is sedated and under anesthesia, an incision is made in the gum in order to expose the jawbone underneath. A small pilot hole is made in the jaw, and once the position is verified, the hole is made larger little by little until the titanium post of the implant is inserted into the jawbone. The incision is closed, and a process called osseointegration is allowed to occur over the next several months. During that healing time, the implant will fuse to the jawbone and mimic the natural relationship between a tooth and the jawbone.
Caring for implants is similar to caring for your other teeth. Be sure to brush and floss consistently, and your dental implants should last at least 10 years.