Local Cosmetic Dentist | The goal of your dentist is to ensure that you retain your natural teeth for as long as possible. Although treatment options are available for missing teeth, they are not without drawbacks: Dentures can slip. Bridges can fail.
But your local cosmetic dentist now has a relatively new tool at their disposal: dental implants.
What are dental implants?
Nothing can completely replace a natural tooth. But dental implants are the next best thing. These are structures that are placed directly into the jawbone, which firmly grasps onto them to provide a solid foundation for biting and chewing. Implants cannot slip like dentures sometimes can, and they have an impressive documented success rate of over 95 percent. Properly cared for, a new implant should last for a lifetime.
There are three components to a dental implant:
- A metal post made from titanium
- An abutment
- A dental crown
What are the benefits of dental implants?
As mentioned earlier, a new dental implant should last for a lifetime when cared for properly. Dentures and bridges, although less expensive, have a much shorter lifespan. And the cost probably evens out over time when you consider the replacement cost of dentures and bridges, as well as any dental work and procedures that they may make necessary.
Another key benefit of dental implants is that they prevent bone loss. Resorption, or bone loss, occurs when a tooth goes missing for a period of time.
What is it like getting a dental implant?
The process of getting a dental implant is fairly straightforward, and normally takes at least two office visits. During your first visit, your local cosmetic dentist will actually implant the first component, which is a post made of titanium. Titanium alloys make a great choice for this purpose because of the biocompatibility
and strength of the material.
Over the next few months, your jawbone will be busy fusing to the implanted post. The process of bone resorption that occurred when you lost your original tooth will now reverse. This is one of the main benefits of dental implants; they allow you to keep or reverse bone loss in the area of a missing tooth.
Once your jawbone has fused around your new implant, an abutment can be placed on top of it in a follow-up appointment. The next step is the placement of a dental crown, which offers both a chewing surface and aesthetic tooth replacement.
Some patients require an additional procedure called bone grafting to receive an implant because bone resorption has led to significant jawbone loss. Bone grafting helps to strengthen the area so that it can receive a dental implant.
What should I do after getting a dental implant?
No special care is necessary after getting a dental implant from your local cosmetic dentist; however, it is very important to keep up with your regular oral hygiene routine. Although the materials making up the implant are virtually indestructible, poor oral hygiene can still cause periodontal disease, which can threaten both your original teeth and the implant.