Dental implants are a long-lasting alternative to dental bridges and dentures, and they look natural and function just like natural teeth.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are ultra-strong and stable devices that replace a missing or severely damaged tooth with an artificial one that looks and functions like a regular tooth. They’re considered more cost-effective and reliable than alternatives, such as bridges or dentures. Implants last longer than 10 years, versus the five to seven years bridges tend to last. Your dentist may recommend one or many implants, depending on the state of your teeth and overall health.
How are implants different from dentures?
Unlike dentures, which can move around and limit chewing capabilities, dental implants act like regular teeth. You never take them out, and there’s no need for special creams or adhesives to hold them in place. You simply eat, brush, and floss as usual. Implants also look natural, whereas dentures can sometimes appear a bit fake.
How do I know if I’m a good candidate?
If you’re healthy enough to undergo routine oral surgery, you can probably get a dental implant. You need to have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant and be willing to commit to regular dental visits and conscientious home oral hygiene care.
Dental implants aren’t ideal for people who smoke heavily, have an uncontrolled chronic disorder, such as heart disease or diabetes, or have undergone radiation therapy in the head or neck area. Your dentist can help determine if you’re a good candidate.
What is the process for getting a dental implant?
Once you’re approved for a dental implant, your dentist team customizes a treatment plan. This usually starts with the placement of a small titanium post in the bone socket of the missing tooth, using local or general anesthesia. In some cases, a damaged tooth needs to be removed first. As your jawbone heals, it grows around the metal post, securing it in your jaw, which can take 6-12 weeks.
Next, your dentist attaches a small connector post to hold the crown in place. This crown is created from impressions of your teeth, taken by your dentist. You receive a temporary crown until the permanent one is ready, at which point your dentist swaps it out. The permanent crown is placed in a painless procedure, then you can eat and brush normally.
If you’ve lost one or more adult teeth or could use one or more replacements for other reasons, talk to us to find out if implants can help. To book a consultation, use the online scheduler.