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Dental Implants Primer: What You Should Know

Dental Implants Primer: What You Should Know

If you’re embarrassed by your dentures or tired of dealing with fixed bridges consider getting dental implants.

Here’s what you need to know before your procedure.

Definition

A dental implant is a procedure where an artificial tooth is fused into a jawbone by a periodontist or oral surgeon. Think of this long term solution as a change up to getting dentures if you’re missing a few – or more – teeth. Removable dentures and fixed bridges were the only alternatives in the past but now you can go the implant route for a more natural-looking experience. Since fixed bridges depend heavily on your good teeth acting as anchoring agents you can expect to run into dental problems in the long run if you choose this procedure. Removable dentures are embarrassing, impractical, outdated options compared to dental implants.

Think of an implant as being the root of the missing teeth. Don’t worry about the strength of the dental implant. Most are made of titanium metal. These durable devices are rarely replaced due to heavy wear and tear.

Dental Implants Primer: What You Should Know

Dental implants are reliable, natural-looking and they help to boost your self-confidence. Implants also help to preserve adjacent teeth. Dentures are easily lost and bridges need to be replaced after extensive use. Not so with implants. You’ll likely lose sight of the fact that you ever lost a tooth as dental implants look like real teeth. Slippage and noise factors are nil with dental implants. No matter your level of confidence you probably wouldn’t feel great about hearing your dentures click each time you opened your mouth. Dental implants help you avoid these embarrassing situations and you’ll also prevent the decaying of healthy teeth by choosing implants versus bridges. Tooth decay won’t occur as implants are fused to your jawbone instead of to neighboring teeth.

The Process

Getting dental implants is not a quick fix. The natural looking and more tooth-friendly alternative to bridges and dentures takes some time compared to other methods of fixing your smile. Molds and x-rays of your mouth will be taken during a dental exam. Expect your dental provider to create a treatment plan. Build a plan which works for both parties. Factors to be considered include the condition of your jaw bone and the number of teeth to be replaced. Post-procedure care of your teeth will be explained while you discuss the plan. Care is similar to how you’d treat your natural teeth; floss and brush regularly to clean your teeth and to reduce plaque.

Multiple procedures factor in to the entire process. Expect the entire procedure to take 3 months or longer if you need to allow for more healing since much of the procedure involves recovery time. New bone needs to grow into your jaw to facilitate the process. Be patient. The first step consists of the dental implant cylinder being placed inside of your jawbone.  Several healing months will pass before the next surgery. An abutment and crown are placed during the next step.

Anesthesia is administered during the procedure. Bring a friend or family member to help take you home after your surgery.

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