Essentially, a dental implant is a metal post used for replacing one or more missing teeth, including the roots. It functions very similarly to a natural tooth and is anchored in your jaw, so it will not shift when you are chewing or biting. Implants are normally made from a strong titanium alloy that is very durable and long-lasting.
Dental Implants Benefits
· Will not move within the mouth
· Durable and long-lasting
· Offers the look, feel, and function of natural teeth
Prevents Bone Loss
A missing tooth root leads eventually to something called resorption, or bone loss. The underlying bone beneath the location of the missing tooth will begin to melt away. This can lead to undesirable changes in the facial structure, as the face will begin sinking in somewhat. Bone loss can lead to a prematurely aged facial appearance. Dental implants prevent this from happening.
Prevents Teeth Shifting
When you have one or more missing teeth, adjacent teeth can begin shifting into this empty space. This can leave you with a gap in your smile or problems with the alignment of your bite.
Other types of restorations are not meant as a permanent solution to missing teeth. Dental implants, on the other hand, can be expected to last for a lifetime if the patient cares for them properly. This includes brushing and flossing regularly to prevent gum disease, which could otherwise undermine both natural teeth and implants.
Dental Implant Procedure
Your dentist will provide you with a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. They will create an incision in your gums, revealing underlying bone. They will then use a dental drill to make room in your jawbone for the implant. After placing the implant in your jawbone, they will secure the incision with sutures.
The implant must now be allowed to heal for several weeks while it fuses with your underlying jawbone. Once this process, known as osseointegration, is complete, you would return for a subsequent appointment to have the final part of your implant placed.
After placement of the metal post into the jawbone, your dentist would place a connecting structure called an abutment over it. This allows for the placement of a dental crown to provide a biting and chewing surface like a natural tooth.
Dental Implant Aftercare
It is common to experience some temporary effects after a dental implant procedure, such as:
· Swollen face or gums
· Minor bleeding and bruising
· Pain or discomfort at the treatment site
Your dentist may recommend pain medication if you are experiencing discomfort after your implant procedure. You may want to stick to eating softer foods for around one week after your procedure.