Having a great smile is more than getting white teeth and a straight grin. Care for the entire mouth includes gums, tongue, and even the underlying facial bone structure. As we age, our teeth naturally become more prone to dietary acids and sugars that relentlessly wear away at the outer layer of protective enamel. Nerves within the tooth can also shrink, so while teeth become less sensitive, they certainly remain unprotected from decay.
If you’ve been thinking about replacing a missing tooth, or have noticed your other teeth shifting because of extra space in your mouth, a dental implant is the best answer.
Other reasons patients need dental implants are:
Did you know that modern dental implant technology has been around for over 40 years? Dental implants are recommended for anyone with a fully-developed jaw bone. Even if you’ve had teeth removed years ago, there are options for bone graft that will allow you to enjoy implants. Dental implants are successful and highly recommended because they don’t fail like crowns, dentures, and bridges.
Dental implants are ideal for anyone with tooth loss or oral disease.
The implant procedure begins with a complete oral exam. Dental x-rays are taken to create a model of your teeth and jaw, and your doctor will discuss your medical history. It’s crucial to advise him or her about the medications you take, both over-the-counter and prescription, and any medical conditions you’ve ever had. If you are a patient with other implants in your body, (hip, knee, etc.) or have been told that you have a heart condition, you may also require a course of pre-procedure antibiotics prior to surgery. You will be given a personalized treatment plan, and remember, dental implants involve a number of stages.
Getting a beautiful, functional, custom smile is affordable and has little disadvantage. Every patient will have a unique treatment plan for their implants, so cost varies accordingly based on the number of appointments needed. Consultation is an excellent place to start. Your provider can evaluate, discuss options, make recommendations for your consideration, and work with you through the entire process, to plan necessary diagnostics and even help with anticipating insurance coverage.
After damaged teeth are removed and your jawbone has been prepared as needed, comes artificial root placement. You will undergo anesthesia, and your oral surgeon will cut the gum and drill, then place the implant’s metal posts. Implant posts serve as the root of each tooth and take 3 – 6 months to fully heal. While some steps can ultimately be combined depending on your personal situation, a good rule of thumb is one-hour per implant, once you’re ready for actual placement. The jaw bone is a remarkable part of our anatomy. While it heals and regenerates after implant surgery, implants become tightened and even gum recession can be reversed.
Dental implants can last a lifetime and are just as easy to care for as your real teeth. You’ll still brush twice a day, floss, (use un-waxed tape) and use a water-pick or inter-dental brush when needed. Regular check-ups with your dentist will keep your smile looking its best. Patient’s report minimal discomfort and maximum satisfaction.