What are dental implants?
A dental implant is often the best choice for replacing missing teeth. An implant is a titanium anchor used to support a variety of dental prosthesis such as crowns, bridges, and dentures. Implants are placed into the bone below the gum line. Once the bone has healed around the implant, a dental prosthesis, designed specifically for you, is attached to it. Completed implants are both beautiful and strong, and they protect your remaining natural teeth from many of the negative effects of tooth loss.
What happens during the implant procedure?
Prior to the placement of an implant, your jaw will be evaluated to determine if you have enough bone to support a dental implant. When there is not enough bone to support an implant, a bone graft can often be used to augment the existing bone making it possible for an implant to be placed. Placing and restoring an implant usually requires three visits. First, the titanium implant is placed just below the gum line. Between the first and second implant appointments, 3-6 months is required to allow the bone to fully integrate with the implant. The first visit is usually the only visit that requires anesthetic, and although there is some soreness for a few days, most patients are able to return to work and regular activity the next day. The second visit consists of an impression so that a custom designed crown and abutment can be fabricated. The third visit will occur when the crown and abutment are completed and ready to be placed onto the implant. The final result is a natural looking tooth replacement that will allow you to smile, speak, and eat in a very natural way.
What if my implants become damaged?
Implants are very strong and durable. Today’s implant materials and techniques make implants more predictable and stronger than ever before. Despite this, they can become damaged, chipped, broken, or loose. Most often implants can be repaired allowing them to continue to function well for many years. When an implant cannot be repaired, it may need to be removed and replaced.