Having a missing tooth or two can be a cause for embarrassment, as well as lead to problems with chewing, speaking and even eating. It may also create other oral health problems for you.
The good news is that these days, dental implant procedures can help restore the original function and look of your teeth, giving you back your original smile.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are surgically placed in your mouth, serving as a replacement for your natural tooth’s root. They are often made out of bone-like ceramic materials, as well as titanium and are surgically fused into your jawbone to provide a stable base for artificial teeth, ensuring a secure fit.
When used in conjunction with dentures, bridges and even crowns, the implants make sure that either one of these dental appliances do not move around. This helps make them feel far more natural and less uncomfortable compared to conventional bridges, dentures and crowns.
Advantages of Implants
While usually more expensive compared to other tooth replacement methods, there are certain advantages to dental implants, such as:
- A secure, comfortable Implants make sure that the replacement teeth fit as comfortable as possible by making sure that they do not slip or shift when you talk, chew or bite.
- Easy to clean. As long as you’re already taking proper care of your teeth, you don’t really need to make any adjustment when it comes to implants. This means they’re easy to clean since you take care of them the same way as natural teeth and they do not have to be taken out for cleaning or soaking.
- Preserves jawbone. The constant shifting of teeth is often associated with other tooth replacement methods. However, with dental implants, the fit is as secure as possible, preventing any shifting and preserving jawbone, helping maintain the natural contour of your face.
- No adjustments necessary. Not only do you clean them normally as you would your natural teeth, implants also allow you to chew and speak as if you did not have a dental implant at all.
Placement of the Implants
The implant is surgically placed in your jaw during an in-office procedure. A local anesthetic is used to minimize pain and ensure maximum comfort. However, some swelling and pain is to be expected afterwards, which the dentist can help you with by prescribing pain medication.
While your jaw heals, you’ll be asked to follow a diet consisting mainly only of soft, cold food and lukewarm soups. However, your dentist may also place a temporary crown, bridge or denture, so you don’t have to make as much of an adjustment when eating or speaking.
To make sure that your new teeth are attached as securely as possible, impressions of your mouth are taken and fixtures are connected to the implants during the healing process.
Once healed, which usually takes around two to six months, the artificial tooth or crown is placed on top of the implant.
Taking Care of Your Implant
Implants are durable enough to last a lifetime, but that will only happen if you take proper care of them. This includes visiting the dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings, as well as brushing for two minutes, two times a day and flossing daily.
Remember, getting a dental implant is no small procedure and is a big decision on your part.
Make sure that you choose a dentist and a periodontist or oral surgeon that has your best interests in mind to increase the procedure’s chances for success.
If you would like to see if you’d be a good candidate for dental implants, contact Dr. James Yankowskas at 978-649-7773 or visit www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com to learn more.
Dr. James Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and surrounding areas.