Dental implants are an alternative to traditional dentures. These replacement teeth make it possible for a person with missing teeth to function normally and recreate a natural looking smile. Unfortunately, dentures are not always comfortable and they can be cumbersome to remove and clean. Implant dentistry makes it possible to replace missing teeth without the discomfort or inconvenience of traditional dentures.
Dental implants are made from synthetic materials and are attached where the root of the tooth once lived. The implant is affixed to the jawbone or to metal framework that has been attached to the bone. This implant acts as a base for a new tooth or a bridge. Some types of dentures can also be attached using implants. Unfortunately, not all patients can have implants because in order for an implant to work, there must be a sturdy bone structure for attachment. Patients must also have a strong immune system, which makes it easy for the body to accept the implant and heal following the placement procedure.
The placement procedure for dental implants requires several visits to the dentist office. The process includes placement of the anchor in the jawbone, followed by several weeks for healing. Once healed, an artificial tooth is fitted over the anchor.
There are several different types of implants. If you believe a dental implant might work for you, discuss with your dentist which option is best. Implant types include:
- Full upper replacements: replaces the upper set of teeth with implants
- Anterior replacement: replaces front teeth with implants
- Full lower replacement: replaces the lower set of teeth with implants
- Posterior replacement: replaces the back teeth with implants
- Single tooth replacement: replaces just one tooth with an implant
Healing time following implant placement can vary, but often takes up to six months. However, once the implant is in place, it is considered permanent. Most people who receive implant dentistry go on to act as they would if all of their teeth were natural.
If you are curious about implant dentistry or you would like to schedule a consultation to determine if dental implants are an option for you, contact us.
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