Are you missing one or more teeth? A dental implant may be a great option for you and
we are here to explain everything you need to know about dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are tiny screws or posts made of titanium that get surgically inserted into the jawbone where a tooth or teeth are missing. Once integrated (bone grows around the implant over time), dental implants function as an artificial anchor for replacement teeth.
A crown, or artificial tooth, is coloured and shaped to match your other teeth and attached to the metal implant to replace the missing tooth. The end result mimics the feel, function, and look of natural teeth.
Dental implants can also be used to hold dentures or a dental bridge in place.
Why choose Dental Implants?
Because they feel, function, and look like natural teeth, dental implants are a great option for individuals dealing with tooth loss.
Along with working like real, natural teeth, dental implants can:
Eliminate the bone loss that occurs when a tooth is missing
Eliminate the shifting of teeth that can occur when a tooth is missing
Provide the stability and strength needed to enjoy eating your favourite foods without worrying about struggling to chew or damaging a denture
Prevent gum disease and decay that can occur when a tooth is missing (when teeth migrate towards the open space where a tooth once was, food can lodge in the gap and lead to decay
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What does a Dental Implant procedure involve?
A dental implant is usually completed in stages over several months. The process involves a series of tests and minor surgical procedures. The exact treatment process and length of treatment depends on the individual case, but the following is a general overview of the dental implant procedure.
Prior to the procedure, your dentist will ensure you are an appropriate candidate for a dental implant. CT scans and x-rays will be used to evaluate your jaw bone and help us plan the procedure.
The first procedure involves placing the titanium implant. Pilot holes are drilled into the jawbone and slowly widened to provide space for the implant screw. The implant is placed into the jawbone, a healing cover is placed over the implant.
The next phase is the healing and integration process where the implant anchors into the bone and heals. This typically takes 3 to 6 months.
Once the implant is stable, your dentist will be able to start the process of making you a crown to fit over the implant. A 3-D digital scan of your teeth will be taken, which is used to create the artificial tooth or teeth.
Finally, the artificial tooth or teeth is cemented or screwed onto the implant.
Recovery and aftercare for Dental Implants: What can I expect?
Recovery time varies based on the patient, but diligent oral hygiene is always crucial to ensure proper fusing of the implant to the jaw bone and prevent infection.
The healing process can take up to six months, with an additional two months for the fitting and placement of the final crown. Again, the exact timeframe will vary from case to case.
You may experience pain, swelling, or bruising after any of the minor operations. Eating soft foods following surgery can be helpful for letting the dental implant site heal.
No special care is required for the dental implant itself aside from regular dental check-ups and regular brushing and flossing.
How long do Dental Implants last?
Since the posts are made of titanium, dental implants can last a lifetime if cared for properly.
Are you a candidate for Dental Implants?
A consultation with your dentist is the only way to assess if you are a suitable candidate for a dental implant. Your dentist will discuss with you whether a dental implant procedure is suitable for you and be sure you:
Have good oral health with no gum disease
Have a healthy, fully grown jawbone with adequate structure
Do not have any conditions that affect bone healing
Want to learn more about Dental Implants?
If you are curious if you are a candidate for dental implants or would like to learn more about this excellent tooth replacement option, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts at Chelmsford Dental is here to answer all your implant related questions and can book a free implant consultation with one of our dentists.