For many patients, missing or damaged teeth create concerns beyond the way their smiles look. Missing teeth can make it difficult to eat and speak, and they may even cause potential health issues. Custom dental implants are a permanent solution designed to look just like your neighboring teeth, so nobody will notice the difference. Maybe that’s why the American Dental Association (ADA) reports that dentists in the U.S complete more than 5.5 million implants annually.
Benefits of a permanent dental implant.
Dental implants don’t slip or shift, giving you same stability and peace of mind as your natural teeth.
Cleaning implants is simple. Just brush, floss and get regular cleanings from your dentist. Implants don’t need to be removed for cleaning or soaking.
Because implants stand alone, they are not reliant on the support of surrounding teeth like a dental bridge.
Implants prevent neighboring teeth from shifting. This preserves the jawbone as well as the contour of your face.
Implants not only provide an ideal cosmetic solution—they’re also a sound functional solution, enabling you to easily chew and speak.
Are you a good candidate for a dental implant?
It’s all about bone density and gum health. Your dentist will determine if you’re a good candidate for a dental implant based on whether or not you have enough bone to support the implant. It’s also very important that you have healthy gums, and you’re in good overall health. If you’re a smoker, according to the ADA this habit can negatively affect the healing process and double the risk of losing the implant altogether.
What to expect during and after the procedure.
Made of titanium and bone-like ceramic materials, implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed in your jaw to fuse with your bone in order to support a crown, bridge or full denture. This procedure takes place in your dentist’s office and is performed with local anesthesia. You may experience some swelling and pain after the procedure, and pain medication may be prescribed. Your dentist will wait two to six months before placing the artificial tooth or crown on your implant in order to give your jaw and the implant time to grow together. You may receive a temporary crown, bridge or denture to help with chewing and speaking during this time.
Caring for your implant.
If you follow good oral hygiene practices, including scheduling regular dental visits and professional cleanings, there’s no reason your implant can’t last a lifetime. As you brush and floss daily, be mindful about carefully cleaning around the implants to keep the gum tissue healthy. You may also want to use an antimicrobial mouth rinse to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
Schedule a consultation.
The best person to talk to about your tooth replacement options, including implants? You guessed it, your dentist. During this visit, your dentist will take X-rays, discuss your health and carefully examine your mouth in order to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for implants as well as help you weigh all of your tooth replacement options.
Curious about dental implants? Call Dr. Phil Hodge Dentistry for a free consultation at (253) 852-4746.