Considered the best alternative to natural teeth, a dental implant is titanium cylinder that is surgically implanted into the jawbone to serve as an artificial root for a missing tooth.
Dental implants offer a permanent solution for those who have lost a tooth or teeth to conditions such as dental decay, periodontal disease, or injury. They can be used to replace one or more missing teeth and eliminate the need for removable dentures.
Dental implants may be an ideal option for you if:
- You are missing one or more teeth
- You have healthy oral tissue
- You have adequate bone to secure the implant
- You are unable or unwilling to wear dentures
- You want to improve your speech
- You don’t have health conditions that will impair the healing process
Be sure to notify you dentists about any lifestyle habits, such as smoking, which can negatively affect the overall success of the surgery. Smoking and tobacco use are considered risk factors in tooth loss and periodontal disease. Visit your dental professional to find out if dental implants are the best option for you.
Although dental implants are significantly more costly than traditional partials and dentures, their ability to improve one’s lifestyle and appearance make them worth the cost. Those who have had implant surgery found that certain foods no longer had to be prohibited from their diet, and more importantly, they gained confidence from having a new attractive smile.
The procedure of dental implant surgery is often defined in two phases:
- Phase 1: the dental implant is implanted into the jawbone and healing begins. The healing period often extends for several months to secure a strong base. This process is called osseointegration.
- Phase 2: an abutment is attached to the top of the implant, followed by the artificial tooth which is also referred to as the crown.
To ensure the success of your dental implant, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene. As with natural teeth, artificial teeth and gum tissue must be keep clean. Using interdental cleaners to slide between the teeth will help clean areas that are often missed by brushing alone. Regularly scheduled dental cleanings and check-ups will also ensure the health and proper function of your implant.