Dental implants are anchoring devices that support permanent tooth replacements and are manufactured to last a lifetime. These artificial roots are anchored in the bone beneath the gums. A crown is mounted atop the implant for a long-lasting and natural looking smile. Many patients prefer dental implants because they offer the same function as natural teeth and also help prevent bone atrophy in the jaw. Dental implants may be used to replace a single missing or damaged tooth or to restore an entire smile.
Did you know…
that approximately 30 million Americans live with no natural teeth in one or both jaws? But more and more dental patients are opting for dental implants as a means of tooth replacement. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports that 3 million Americans currently have dental implants – a number that is rapidly growing by about 500,000 per year. Modern titanium implants were first developed in the 1950’s, but archeologists have determined that ancient Egyptians and Mayans were the first cultures to implant artificial teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are dental implants right for me?
You probably qualify for dental implants if you have missing, broken or severely decayed teeth and are in relatively good overall health. The best way of determining your eligibility for implants is to consult with a dental implant specialist to identify whether you have adequate bone support and healthy gums to ensure the success of treatment.
What should I expect if my dentist and I decide dental implants are right for me?
The placement of dental implants is a multi-step process that typically takes between 4 and 9 months to complete. It begins with a surgical procedure during which a titanium implant is placed where a previous natural tooth root once was. Although the gum over the dental implant heals quickly, over the next few months the implant is connecting to the surrounding bone. Due to the nature of implant placement and its average procedure time of between 1 and 2 hours, you’ll be sedated and/or anesthetized for the duration of the treatment. At the conclusion of the healing period, you’ll return to your periodontist and general dentist to be fitted for permanent crowns.
What type of post-treatment care will I require?
It is normal to experience some discomfort for a day or two following a dental implant procedure. Many people only need to take an over the counter pain medication such as Advil or Aleve. However if more inflammation and soreness occur it can be managed with a prescription of Vicodin, hydrocodone or codeine. You may be asked to eat only soft foods for a short time until the surgical site heals.