An implant is a titanium post that plays the same role as the root of a tooth. It is inserted surgically into the jaw below the gumline and can be used as a support for a replacement tooth. It can also support dentures or be used as an anchor point for a bridge. Implants provide the foundation needed for a replacement tooth, which will be able to function just like a natural tooth. You’ll be able to eat all of your favorite foods with your new dental implant since it will be just as strong as a real tooth.
If you find out that you need to get a tooth or more than one tooth extracted, it’s important to look at the long-term implications involved. When a tooth or several are lost it can change the jaw line of the individual and the facial contour. It can also affect chewing and speech and cause pain in the jaw joints due to an improper bite. Bone tissue may also be lost in the area where the tooth is missing. Whether you are losing a tooth or teeth due to old age, decay or trauma, it’s important to look at the effects of losing this tooth as a part of your overall dental health.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Most patients will only require one visit to have the implant surgically placed in the jawbone. In most cases a local anesthetic is all that’s required during the procedure. The dentist places the titanium post into the bone and this post will fuse into the bone naturally during the next 2 – 9 months. The speed of fusing will range from one individual to the next.
After your dentist has determined that the implant has correctly fused into the bone a permanent tooth will be constructed that can be fastened to the implant.
An implant can be life-changing for many people. If a front tooth is lost it can be replaced with something that completely matches the other teeth. If several teeth are missing a bridge that is implant-supported may be considered as an option. If all of the teeth are missing, dental implants can be used to secure the dentures. These implants can also enhance facial tissue, give the patient back a confident smile and help with digestion, speech and chewing issues.
In order to determine whether you are a good candidate for implants, your dental history will be reviewed, your mouth examined and dental x-rays will be taken. If there isn’t enough bone left in the jaw to accommodate an implant, bone grafting may be a possibility. Your dentist will let you know what your options are and make any recommendations.
In most cases an implant will last for a number of years, if not forever, as long as the patient practices good dental hygiene. They function just as a real tooth or teeth and you’ll be able to eat all of your favorite foods once again.