What Are Dental Implants?
What are dental implants? Modern dental implants are typically titanium anchors to which your replacement teeth are attached. These implants allow you to live confidently without worrying about your teeth. When performed by an experienced dentist, natural-looking artificial teeth can replace damaged or missing teeth for a lifetime. Other tooth replacement options, like dentures or dental bridges, are less stable and secure than dental implants. Many patients prefer the durability, look, and feel of dental implants compared to the alternatives. Dental implant procedures are highly successful and reduce your risk for problems down the road.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
If you are missing one or more teeth and are considering dental implants, there are a few conditions you should be able to meet. If you fit the following traits, you should consider dental implants:
- Have good oral health and oral hygiene habits
- Have healthy gums with no periodontal disease
- Can’t use dentures or dentures aren’t working for you
- Have a fully grown jawbone
- Have the time to commit to several months of healing
- Are not a tobacco smoker
- Have adequate bone structure to secure the implants
- Do not have underlying health conditions that would prevent bone healing
Your dentist will be able to determine if dental implants are right for you. First, your dentist will use X-rays to determine if your jawbone is ready for an implant. Then, they will review your dental and medical history to make sure you are healthy enough to be a candidate for the surgery.
Dental Implant Procedure
The procedure for dental implants involves several office visits over a period of several months. Your dentist will determine if dental implants are right for you and create a treatment plan. Your dentist will then refer you to an oral surgeon for the surgery. Before the procedure, your oral surgeon will administer either sedation, general anesthesia, or a local anesthetic. First, your surgeon will remove the damaged or infected tooth. Then, they can place the dental implant post into your jawbone. The implant needs time to bond with your jawbone (usually three to six months).
After the implant unites with your jawbone and forms a sturdy base, your dentist will place an abutment, or connector, to hold your crown. Finally, they will place your custom-made crown. The crown is made to look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. One additional benefit of implants over dentures is that implants don’t interfere with talking, eating, or other normal activities.
After the procedure, you should care for your dental implants just like you would care for your natural teeth. Good oral hygiene habits include brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. Dental implant procedures are also highly successful, especially in the hands of an experienced dentist.
Dental Implants at Columbia Smiles
When you are ready to restore your smile, Columbia Smiles can provide consultations for dental implant procedures. Reach out to our award-winning dental practice in Columbia, MD, today at 410.690.4855.