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Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are long-lasting tooth root replacements implanted into the jawbone to simulate the root of a pre-existing tooth. Implants provide a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. They can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or all the teeth in both jaws, combined with crowns, fixed bridges or overdentures. Depending on patient anxiety and/or the number of implants being placed, it can be performed simply under local anesthesia or IV sedation.

What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

  1. Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth.
  2. Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, teeth can slip. implants allow you to speak without the worry that your teeth might slip. 
  3. Improved comfort. Implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures. 
  4. Easier eating. implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain. 
  5. Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself. 
  6. Improved oral health. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving your long-term oral health. 
  7. Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. 
  8. Convenience. Dental implants eliminate the inconvenience of removing your dentures, as well as the need for adhesives to keep your dentures in place. 

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

Success rates vary, depending on where the implants are placed but, in general, implants have a success rate of up to 98%.

Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?

In most cases, anyone healthy enough to have a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders - such as diabetes or heart disease - or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area should be evaluated on an individual basis.

What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?

  1. The first step is the development of an individualized treatment plan by your dentist.
  2. Next a small titanium post, is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the bone heals, it grows around the metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. Healing can take 6 to 12 weeks.
  3. Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post or abutment - is attached to securely hold the new tooth. 
  4. Your dentist will then makes an impression and create a model of your bite. Your new tooth is based on this model. 
  5. A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment.

Your dentist also will match the color of your new teeth to your natural teeth. Because the implant is secured within the jawbone, the replacement teeth look, feel, and function just like your own natural teeth.

Are Dental Implants painful?

Most people say that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anesthesia can be used during the procedure, and most patients report that implants involve less pain than a tooth extraction.

After the dental implant, mild soreness can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol or Motrin.

How Do I Care for Dental Implants?

Dental implants require the same care as real teeth, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.