Dental implants are root replacement devices that support tooth prosthetics and are manufactured to last a lifetime. These artificial roots are made of specific materials and given specialized coating layers that allow them to become fused into the jaw. They are surgically placed into the bone beneath your gums and after a period of healing a crown restoration can be fixed to the implant. More patients are choosing dental implants today than ever before because of they offer some advantages over other methods of tooth replacement. They often most closely match the function of your natural teeth and because of their direct connection to the bone, will help prevent bone atrophy in the jaw. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing or damaged tooth or to restore your entire smile.
Did you know…
That approximately 30 million people live with no natural teeth in one or both jaws? But more and more dental patients are opting for dental implants as a means of tooth replacement. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports that 3 million people currently have dental implants – a number that is rapidly growing by about 500,000 per year. Modern titanium implants were first developed in the 1950’s, but archeologists have determined that ancient Egyptians and Mayans were the first cultures to implant artificial teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may be a candidate for dental implants if you currently have a tooth that is missing or needs to be removed, are in relatively good overall health, and have adequate bone to support the prosthesis. The best way to determine your eligibility for implants is to schedule a consultation with our office today. We can help you determine if implants may be right for you.
The restoration of teeth with dental implants is a multi-step process that typically takes between 6 and 12 months to complete. It begins with a surgical procedure to remove the non-restorable tooth and place a bone graft to promote optimum bone healing. After 3 to 6 months of bone healing the implant placement surgery will be done, during which a titanium root replacement is implanted in the area the natural tooth root once was. A healing cap is placed over the implant and the bone and gums are allowed to heal for 3 to 6 months. Enough time for the implant to fuse with the surrounding bone. After a sufficient period of healing, you will return for final impressions to be taken that will be used by the lab to fabricate your custom fit crown or bridge. A few weeks later you will be fitted with your new permanent implant crown.
You can expect some discomfort following implant placement, usually mild to moderate tenderness with occasional swelling. However, inflammation and pain is typically manageable with over-the-counter medication. You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the area until the surgical site heals, such as use of saline or antibacterial rinses, eating a soft diet for a time, or use of ice packs and anti-inflammatory medications. Generally, you will be able to return to regular activity within a couple of days and return to your normal diet and oral hygiene routine within a couple of weeks.