What Is a Dental Implant?
When you lose a tooth, it can impact the appearance of your smile and overall oral health. Not only are you left with a gap in your smile, but the other teeth may begin to shift out of place. You may also experience bone loss in your jaw. A dental implant is a permanent titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone, which can be used to replace single teeth or secure dental restorations like dentures or dental bridges. Dental implants can be used to restore a healthy, complete smile that is functional and beautiful.
Why Would a Dental Implant Be Needed?
People who have a missing tooth, especially in the front, can be negatively impacted. Missing teeth may affect your speech and the appearance of your smile, as well as your oral health. A dental implant is the closest dental restoration to a natural tooth. The post adheres to your jawbone, stimulating bone growth. If a single dental implant is used, an abutment and dental crown can be placed on top of the implant post, creating a new, naturally-appearing and functioning tooth.
What Makes a Person a Candidate for a Dental Implant?
Dental implants can last the rest of your life, but there are few requirements. Healthy individuals who do not smoke tobacco are the best candidates. It is also important to have enough bone density in the jawbone to support the dental implant. Patients who are lacking enough bone structure can have bone grafting performed to receive dental implants.
What Can Be Expected During Dental Implant Treatment?
The dental implant process begins with Dr. Daniels reviewing your imaging scans and x-rays to plan your dental implant surgery. She will decide whether or not you need bone grafting or if you have enough bone density to perform the procedure without it. The day of your procedure, the area will be numbed, and a small incision is made in your gums to access the jawbone. The titanium post will be inserted and secured in the jawbone using specialized dental equipment, then the incision is closed. Our dental team will advise you on how to care for your implant and the next steps in your dental restoration process. The permanent crown for single dental implants is usually added at around six months after surgery.