If you are looking to perfect your smile but are missing a tooth (or several teeth) you may need to consider dental implants. Dental implants are a permanent solution used to replace missing teeth and roots.
Dental implants are made of titanium metal. This metal acts as a root for the tooth. The artificial root is fixed to the jaw and the replacement tooth is attached. The dental implant securely holds the replacement tooth in place. Dental implants are made to function just like your natural teeth so that you can feel confident.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
If you are thinking about getting dental implants it is important to do your research about the procedure. To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants you can start off by scheduling a routine checkup with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to tell if your jaw bone is strong enough to securely hold the implant. He or she will also do a thorough inspection of your gums to ensure that they are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. You dentist may also take x-rays to ensure that there are no issues with your jawbone. If there are issues with your jawbone, you may have to undergo a bone graft to give the implant something to securely attach to.
If everything looks good and you are considered a candidate for dental implants your dentist will refer you to a specialist or a cosmetic dentist. These specialists have further training, knowledge and tools to perform the surgery.
Once you have been given the go ahead to undergo dental implant surgery you may be nervous. Although there may be some discomfort and tenderness, medications and specialized techniques help to minimize overall pain. The dental specialist will begin the surgery by fixing the dental implant to your jawbone. This takes place beneath the gum tissue, which is then stitched back together. Over the next few months the implant will form with the bone and attach to the gum. Once the tissue and gums have healed you will go in for the second stage of surgery. The dental specialist will now attach an abutment to the implant. This securely connects the replacement tooth to the implant. The replacement tooth is then created to match your existing teeth including shape, size and color. It may take a few appointments to make sure that the replacement tooth fits correctly to the abutment. If you need more than one tooth replaced you may need to get a fixed bridge to anchor your dental implants.
After surgery your dental specialist will want to see you again to ensure that the implant has bonded with the bone and that everything is healing nicely.
Caring for Dental Implants
Dental implants need to be cared for just as you would care for your natural teeth. You should make sure to floss and brush regularly. Continue to care for your oral health by going in for routine dental checkups. Make a dental appointment if you notice any swelling, pain, bleeding or redness in the area.
Dental implants are a great option for those looking to regain confidence in the function and look of their teeth.