A Dental Implant is a small titanium fixture that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. The implant is placed in the upper or lower jaw. It will bond with the bone over time and thus serve as an anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental Implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth.
Losing a tooth can be devastating, not only because it affects the way you look, but also because it can lead to other physical problems that may affect your health and prevent you from smiling with confidence. It is vitally important to replace missing teeth with dental implants promptly in order to prevent health consequences such as:
Anyone who is missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or decay may be a candidate for dental implants. The main limitation is the amount of available bone. Many people missing teeth have also lost much of the surrounding jaw bone due to natural atrophy or prior treatment which has failed. Recent advances in bone grafting may allow you to have much of the missing bone replaced, so that implants can be placed. A dentist with extensive experience in bone grafting and implant placement is the best person to evaluate whether dental implants are a viable solution for you.
Traditionally, the procedure has been performed in a few steps. The dentist began by installing the implant, which was left for from three to six months to heal and integrate with the jawbone. Today, utilizing new techniques, in many cases bone heals around the implants much faster - sometimes several weeks is all that is needed, and sometimes even less.
After some procedures it is normal to have some minor swelling in the gum and soft tissues. But usually the discomfort, if any, is minor and treated with either an over the counter or prescription analgesic. You should expect to be able to work the next day.
Your new teeth must be cared for and checked regularly, just like your natural teeth. Brush and floss as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist. See your dentist as recommended for follow up evaluations.