Dental implants are an effective long-term solution for people with missing teeth, severely decayed teeth, or chronic dental issues. They are artificial tooth roots, shaped like small screws, that are inserted into your jawbone. After placement, these implants fuse with your jawbone, becoming a sturdy base to support one or more artificial teeth.
Implants have transformed the field of dentistry, providing a permanent alternative to other tooth replacement options like dentures or bridgework.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure involves several stages that take place over a period of a few months. The first stage includes a comprehensive dental examination, including X-rays and scans of your mouth, to ensure that you are a good candidate for dental implant surgery.
After the preparatory assessments, the implant is surgically placed into the jawbone. A period of healing, known as osseointegration, then takes place, allowing the implant to become part of the jaw. This can take several months but is crucial for the implant’s stability.
Once the healing process is complete, an abutment, or a connector, is placed on top of the dental implant to hold the new tooth. Your dentist then uses a digital iTero scanner to take a digital impression of the tooth to send to an off-site laboratory where your new tooth will be fabricated; this process typically takes around two weeks. You’ll then return to the dentist to have your new tooth cemented to the abutment.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants come with several benefits. They function and look like natural teeth, enhancing your smile and self-confidence.
Compared with dentures, implants are much more comfortable and secure. Because they fuse with your jawbone, they don’t slip or click when you talk, laugh, or eat. Unlike full dentures that can cover the palate, dental implants don’t affect your ability to taste food.
The bicompatible implant post is made from titanium and can last a lifetime. The dental crown may need to be replaced after 15-20 years.
Dental implants also help maintain your facial structure, preventing bone loss in the jaw, which is common when you lose teeth. This can prevent the appearance of premature aging.
Dental Implant Care
Proper oral hygiene is critical for maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile with dental implants. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush, paying careful attention to the gum line where the implant meets the gum tissue. Always floss after brushing using floss designed for dental implants, a water flosser, or an interdental brush.
Rinsing with an antimicrobial or prescription mouthwash can help reduce bacterial growth and maintain oral health.
Smile Confidently with Dental Implants
Dental implants are a worthwhile investment in your smile and can improve your oral health and overall quality of life.
If you’re considering dental implants or have further questions about the process, contact Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center. You can reach our Deerfield office at (224) 282-8939 or our Lakeview location at (773) 525-5545.