When one or more teeth have been lost to trauma, decay, or disease, having some type of replacement in mind is important to complete your smile makeover. There are many options, but to restore your teeth to the most natural in feel, function, and appearance, dental implants are a very popular choice:
Feel … remember what it felt like to chew when you had healthy teeth. This sensation can be restored with dental implants. A small device made from titanium is surgically placed in gum tissue where tooth loss has occurred. Over the next several months, bone will grow around the implant forming a base for the replacement tooth that will provide strength and support much like dental roots do for natural teeth.
Function … with the security provided by the titanium implant, the patient can once again resume eating the foods they love without fear of slippage. Speaking will become natural again as the restoration covering the dental implant has the same reliable function as its biological predecessor.
Appearance … you can smile again as your dentist has restored your teeth to as close to the original as possible. The restoration covering your implant is identical in shape, size, and color as to neighboring teeth making one or more dental implants virtually undetectable.
The most critical time for a successful implant occurs during the healing period after the implant has been placed. The area must be kept as clean as possible to prevent infection. Tobacco use should be discontinued to give implants the best odds for success as smoking is known to contribute to implant failure.
Once the healing process is complete (usually four to six months), the final restorations can be placed. At this time caring for your implant is the same as the care extended for your natural teeth. Daily brushing and flossing as recommended by your dental provider coupled with a professional cleaning and exam every six months should allow many years of dining, snacking, smiling, and speaking with assurance.
One very important aspect to dental implant success is commitment by the patient. Diligent care and following all recommendations provided by your dentist coupled with all follow up dental visits should help to ensure a successful process.