When adults lose a tooth, it can cause trouble with daily tasks like eating and talking – and even lower your confidence. Dental implants can help to restore the look and functionality of your smile. If you’ve lost a tooth or need to have teeth pulled due to damage, a dental implant may help you avoid experiencing any significant oral changes.
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What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants consist of a replacement tooth and a titanium rod that’s inserted into the jawbone to secure it. Replacement teeth are usually made of some kind of porcelain such as zirconia, leucite, or lithium disilicate – all of which look very much like natural teeth due to the coloration and the way light is diffused. Dental implants are permanent and stay in the mouth, so you can care for them just like natural teeth.
Can Anyone Get Them?
It’s critical for patients to have healthy, strong jaw bones and gums to avoid complications and ensure that there’s enough support for the titanium rod that forms the base of the implant. For this reason, some patients may need procedures like sinus augmentation, ridge modification, or bone grafts before they’re candidates for implants.
Dentures can be problematic, slipping while you talk and limiting your ability to eat certain foods. Bridges and crowns are more permanent solutions, but these are sometimes uncomfortable and often stand out against natural teeth. Implants tend to last longer than other solutions and fit better, increasing comfort and appearance.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. For endosteal implants, the titanium rods are placed directly in the bone, posts are connected after the gums have healed, and artificial teeth are attached later. For subperiosteal implants, the titanium rods are placed on top of the jaw with the posts sticking up through the gums to hold the artificial teeth.
Getting Dental Implants Placed
Dental implant procedures may be a little different for each patient depending on oral health and specific issues. The procedure is usually done in two to three visits over the course of anywhere from three to nine months or longer. After preparing the jaw bone and placing the post, the patient may need up to a few months to heal. Then the abutment, or post extension is placed, and the crown is attached.
Care After Placement
Dental implants are durable, sturdy, and permanent, so they require the same care as natural teeth. Brushing, flossing, and regular dentist visits are required to keep dental implants looking and functioning best. With adequate care, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Do implants sound like your ideal solution? Call us for a consultation today!
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