Permanently losing a tooth can be frightening, but a dental implant is a great solution for restoring your smile and getting back full functionality of your teeth. A dental implant is a strong, biocompatible titanium rod topped with a crown. They are meant to last for years to come, making them a great solution if you’ve lost one or more teeth or need help stabilizing your dentures.
Dental implants don’t just have cosmetic benefits. They help maintain your jaw strength, keep your teeth from shifting, and prevent your cheeks from sinking in, which can make you look older than you are. Because of their natural appearance and strength, you can carry on with eating, talking, and smiling without having to be afraid or self-conscious.
Your dentist or prosthodontist will first take X-rays and impressions of your teeth in order to make proper models for your crowns.
Dental Implant Procedure
The entire implant procedure usually takes between five and six months, depending on whether the implant will be in the lower or upper jaw, but some can take more than a year. It is typical for the implant procedure to occur in two parts.
First, your dentist will make an incision in the gum and drill into the bone. He or she will then place the part of the implant that will function as the root into the hole and sew up the incision.
After the initial implant heals, you will be ready for the second procedure. Your dentist will make an incision to expose the implant, which will have already attached to your jawbone. A temporary healing cap is put on top of the implant to help your gums heal after the procedure. A titanium part called an abutment is then screwed into the implant in order to attach to a temporary crown, which you will have for four to six weeks. Finally, you will receive your permanent crown.
Caring for Your Dental Implant
You can care for your dental implants the same way you would a regular tooth. Most dental implants can last as long as 25 years, making them a great option for those that want a more permanent, natural solution for missing teeth. We are happy to speak with you about dental implants and other tooth replacement options, and give you an estimate of how long your procedure would take.