In the past, the only way to replace missing teeth was with dentures or bridges. The dentist would help you decide which option would work best and create the appliance to fit your mouth. Today, there is a third option that can be used for missing teeth; dental implants. Often times, a dental implant is a better choice due to the location or type of restoration needed.
A dental implant is different than dentures because they cannot be removed. The permanent appliance consists of a titanium screw, which is the implant, that is placed into the jawbone. This screw is used to replace the root of the tooth. A porcelain crown and connector are used to join the two pieces together.
When placed inside the mouth, the titanium screw will fuse to the jawbone. This creates a more durable option instead of other methods like dentures. Many patients decide to go this route to have a permanent, more natural appearing tooth to replace the missing one.
Understanding the Process
To place the implant in your mouth, it usually takes two appointments. During the first appointment, a local anesthetic will be used to insert the screw. A retainer or partial denture will be used until the gums have healed fully, which can take a few months. Once healed, the dentist will schedule another appointment and then attach a crown.
Implants are a more viable option because they are permanent, but they also do not decay. When compared to bridgework, which usually needs replacing after around ten years, an implant is a more cost and time effective solution.
The placement of the dental implant also does not bother the healthy teeth. When cared for properly, a dental implant can last a lifetime.
While dental implants will work for most patients, there are some health concerns to take into consideration. Certain health problems may require additional checkups or tests with an implant. Such conditions can include heart disease or uncontrolled diabetes.
Whenever you have health conditions or issues you deal with daily, it is important to speak to your dentist, so they are well-aware of your overall health. This will help in determining if dental implants are a better option than a bridge or dentures.
Caring for Dental Implants
Once you have a dental implant procedure, you will need to take care of it just like you do your natural teeth. The tooth needs to be brushed and flossed as well as rinsed with a mouthwash. An antibacterial option is preferred. Regular dental checkups must also be completed so that you can ensure your implant remains in good condition along with the rest of your teeth.
A dental implant is an investment in your smile and overall health. You will be able to replace missing teeth and feel confident in your smile with a component that is permanent and will stand the test of time if cared for correctly.
Contact our office today to learn more about this procedure or to schedule an appointment to have any missing teeth spaces reviewed.