Dental implants are surgical-grade root devices that support permanent tooth prosthetics that are manufactured to last a lifetime. These artificial roots are anchored in the bone beneath the gums where they become fused into the jaw. A crown is mounted atop the implant for a long-lasting and natural looking smile. Many dentists and 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 people 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 people 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
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth that replaces a missing tooth. It looks and functions like a normal tooth. Dr. Yoon affixes the custom-made prosthetic to a metal post that he meticulously roots into your gum. It’s a permanent solution for damaged or missing teeth.
What are the components of a dental implant?
There are three main parts of a dental implant:
Made of titanium, the post is a thin screw that Dr. Yoon inserts into your jawbone. Your body’s natural healing process causes bone to grow around the post, securing it firmly and permanently in place.
Made of titanium, gold, or porcelain, the abutment attaches to the post with another screw. The abutment extends above your gum line and becomes the attachment for your new crown.
The restoration is a crown that looks exactly like your natural teeth. It’s made of porcelain and screws directly onto the abutment.
What are the stages of dental implant treatment?
The entire dental implant procedure extends over several months. Here’s what you can expect at Springfield Dental Solutions:
Dr. Yoon takes X-rays and examines your mouth, teeth, and gums to see if you are a candidate for implant surgery. If you have good oral health and enough healthy bone in your jaw, you can move forward with treatment.
Preparation for treatment
You may be asked to restrict eating and drinking on the morning of the procedure. There’s not much more for you to do to prepare other than get a good night’s sleep and relax.
With a local anesthetic or general anesthesia, Dr. Yoon makes sure you are comfortable. He then removes any remaining damaged tooth, prepares your jawbone, and places the implant. Usually, he places the abutment and a temporary crown on the same day.
You may be bruised and sore for a few days after the implant, but this quickly subsides. You wait several weeks for the bone to grow around the post and the gum to fully heal. When you return, Dr. Yoon places your new crown.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
To determine if dental implants are right for you, consider their many benefits:
- Enhanced facial structure
- Improved function for chewing and talking
- Last for a lifetime
- Feel and act like regular teeth
- Smooth and comfortable
If you’re interested in dental implants, call the office or book your appointment with the online scheduler.
Are dental implants right for me?
You may qualify for dental implants if you have missing, broken or severely decayed teeth and are in relatively good overall health. The only way of determining your eligibility for implants is to consult with an oral care provider to identify whether you have adequate bone support and healthy gums that will support the new tooth structure.
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 6 and 9 months to complete. It begins with a surgical procedure during which a titanium rod is placed where a previous natural tooth root once was. The gums are sutured shut over the implant, where is will stay for several months while it heals and begins fusing with 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 be fitted for permanent crowns and have them placed.
What type of post-treatment care will I require?
It is normal to experience some discomfort, including bruising and swelling following a dental implant procedure. However, inflammation and pain may be managed with over-the-counter medications, hydrocodone, or codeine. You may be asked to eat only soft foods for approximately 2 weeks until the surgical site heals.