|Dental Implants are designed for the person who has one or more missing teeth and want a replacement that will look, feel and function like their own natural teeth. Implants regain the patient's ability to function as they did before: eating their choice of foods, speaking and laughing with people, having a pleasing smile, as well as maintaining facial contouring and structure that may have deteriorated with time due to missing teeth. Dental Implants have virtually given back to many patients the simple joys of life and the personal confidence that they are searching for.
The implants themselves are tiny titanium alloy screws, which are inserted into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These screws act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. The bone bonds with the titanium alloy surface, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth. Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. After the implant has integrated to the jawbone, the second phase begins. The implant is uncovered and a healing post is placed through the gum tissue. The gum tissue will heal around the post and then allow the restorative dentist access to the implant. The dentist will then make a custom fitting tooth which is attached to the implant. Once the implant is placed, the procedure usually takes six to eight months to receive a functioning tooth. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
A successful implant requires that all parties involved — the patient; the restorative dentist, who makes the crown for the implant; and the oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who surgically places the implant, follow a careful plan of treatment. All members of the implant team stay in close contact with each other to make sure everyone clearly understands what needs to be done to meet the patient's expectations. If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If you mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve you life. When you lose several teeth – whether it is a recent situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing teeth. Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.