Dental implants are small metal posts or frames that are surgically placed in the jawbone to replace missing teeth. The implants are a foundation upon which artificial teeth, such as restorative crowns, bridges, and dentures, can be attached. This makes them a more secure and permanent solution too missing teeth than traditional dentures, which have a tendency to slip and move around in the mouth.
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, teeth implants can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. The key to successful implant treatment is the quality of the bone that supports them. It must be strong and healthy enough to bond with the implant material to hold securely. Implants are also considered much more aesthetically pleasing than dentures, as they look very natural and blend in with the surrounding teeth.
Qualifications for Dental Implant Surgery
If you are considering getting dental implants, the first step is to consult with your dentist or oral surgeon. During the consultation, they will examine your mouth and jawbone to determine if you are a good candidate for implant surgery. Some of the factors that go into this decision include:
- The strength and health of your jawbone
- Your overall health and medical history
- The number of missing teeth
- Your ability to maintain good oral hygiene
Diagnostic Tests and Evaluations
To assess your candidacy for dental implants, your dentist or oral surgeon will likely perform some diagnostic tests and evaluations. These may include:
- X-rays to determine the strength of your jawbone
- CT scans to measure the available space in your mouth
- A periodontal evaluation to evaluate the health of your gums
- Implant models to determine the exact specifications for your implants
The Surgery and Healing Process
Once you are approved as a good candidate, implant surgery will be scheduled. The entire procedure typically takes place in two phases. First, your dentist or oral surgeon will surgically insert the dental implants into your jawbone. This initial surgery usually lasts about an hour and may require a few days of recovery time.
The second phase is the healing and integration process, during which the implant fuses to your jawbone and becomes securely fixed in place. Depending on your situation, this can take anywhere from three to six months. Once the implants have healed, your dentist or oral surgeon will attach the artificial teeth to the implant posts.
With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime. However, it is important to keep up with regular dental visits and follow your dentist’s instructions for optimal results. Ultimately, getting dental implants can help improve your smile’s function and appearance.
Dental implants are a great option for replacing missing teeth, offering a permanent solution that looks and feels natural. However, it is important to understand the process and aftercare involved before deciding to proceed with surgery. Talk to your dentist or oral surgeon if you have any queries or worries about getting dental implants. They can ensure that you get the finest results from your treatment and assist you in making an informed decision.