What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a restoration that is designed to replace one or more missing teeth in the mouth. These titanium-based metal components are surgically placed into the jawbone. Over time, the implant fuses with the bone and becomes a solid part of your smile. Most implants heal in just three to six months, and a crown or bridge can then be made to attach to it.
Why might dental implants be needed?
The reason you might want or need an implant is because you’re missing a tooth. Rather than having to wear a removable prosthetic appliance or compromising other teeth with a fixed bridge, an implant works on its own. Implants are relatively permanent, so you won’t need to worry about them once they’ve been given time to heal. In fact, it’s not uncommon for patients to have implants for three to four decades without the restoration showing any signs of wear.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Most patients are good candidates for dental implants. If you have areas of bone loss in or around where the implant is needed, we may recommend a bone grafting procedure prior to any work being done. The surgery itself takes a short amount of time, and you’ll need to give the implant a few months to bond with the surrounding bone. To determine if implants are right for you, we’ll perform an exam and take special dental x-ray images.
What happens during the dental implant procedure?
The procedure begins by administering either local or general anesthetic of your choosing. From there, we will create an incision through the gums and place the implant into the jawbone. The surgery is quite quick and is relatively straightforward for all patients. You will need to come in regularly for checkup visits so that we can be sure the implant is healing properly. Once healed, your general dentist or prosthodontist will make a new restoration, like a crown or bridge, that is made to sit over the top of the implant.
If you want to learn more about dental implants and how they’re placed, call us today to speak with one of our helpful team members.