Dental implants are titanium screws that are placed in the jawbone to act as artificial tooth roots that can support a dental prosthesis. They are designed to fuse with the surrounding bone in order to act as an anchor for either a crown, bridge, or denture, depending on the number of teeth in need of restoration. Dental implants have a variety of benefits such as:
- Maintaining jawbone structure
- Allowing for restored chewing function
- Being extremely strong and durable
- Lasting a long time
Did You Know?
According to a study about implants, 97.5% of single implant dental crowns and 93.6% of implant-supported dentures last longer than six years.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
You may be a candidate for dental implants if you have one or more missing teeth. Additionally, dental implants can also be used to replace severely damaged or decayed teeth in need of extraction. However in order to have dental implants placed, you must have enough bone mass and generally healthy gums to support the implant. To determine if you are an ideal candidate for dental implants, schedule a consultation with your Lakewood Ranch implant dentist today.
What if I don’t have enough bone mass for a dental implant?
If one or more teeth has been missing for longer than six months, you may have inadequate bone mass for a dental implant. In some cases, a bone graft or sinus lift can be used to add bone material to the bottom or top jaw. After a few months, this bone material should grow into new bone that allows for the safe placement of an implant. However, there are also some cases where your dentist may recommend another restoration method.
What can I expect when having dental implants placed at 3-D Dentistry?
Dental implants must be surgically placed, therefore you can expect to be anesthetized and sedated. Your dentist will begin the procedure by making a tiny incision in your gums to reach the underlying bone. They will then use a dental drill to shape the empty tooth socket. Then the implant will be screwed into the jawbone. In some cases, the implant placement procedure will end here and the gums will be sutured up over the implant. In other cases, the abutment piece will also be screwed into the implant. In cases where the abutment is also placed, you can expect that your gums will be sutured around a small metal post that will stick out of your gums.
How long does it take to recover from dental implant surgery?
Once the initial implant placement procedure is completed, the implant will need to heal. In some cases, a dental prosthesis may be immediately added or it may be added at a later date. Either way, the implant is not considered to be “successful” until it has fused with the surrounding bone. Osseointegration is a term used to describe new bone growth around the implant that fuses the implant into the surrounding bone. This process can take an average of 3-6 months, but can last as long as 9-12 months in some cases.
During the initial period following surgery, your implant dentist will provide you with post-operative guidelines to follow to expedite the healing process. These guidelines contain valuable information on how to manage post-operative discomfort and swelling, keep the treatment site clean and free from infection, and what to eat so that you do not hinder the recovery process.
How long do dental implants last?
As mentioned before, dental implants are the longest-lasting restoration option for replacing missing teeth. In fact, they have been found to last as long as 20+ years. However, they must be properly cared for to last things long. Caring for your dental implants is like caring for your natural teeth. That is, you must maintain good oral hygiene habits and prevent damaging behaviors.