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What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a revolutionary approach to replacing missing teeth. Rather than using traditional techniques like dentures or bridges, your dentist or oral surgeon can place a titanium screw called a post into your jawbone, filling in the gap where the root of the missing tooth used to be. The post is then topped with a porcelain crown, giving you an elegant replacement tooth that looks and functions much like the real thing. If you have more than one missing tooth in a row, implants can also be used to support bridges or even hold dentures more securely in place.
The Implant Process
Like most good things, getting dental implants takes time. The process involves up to five steps and a several-month waiting period while your jawbone integrates with the implants after placement. However, your patience will pay off in the form of beautiful replacement teeth!
Many (but not all) implant candidates may need a bone graft to prepare their jawbone to receive implants. This can be done by an oral surgeon or a dentist with special training in bone grafting.
Once your jawbone is healthy enough to receive implants, your dentist or oral surgeon will insert titanium screws into your jaw in place of the roots of your missing teeth. You’ll be comfortably numb and sedated during the procedure.
After the implants are placed, your jawbone will need time to fuse with the metal screws. This often takes four to six months and is typically free from discomfort.
When the implants are fully integrated with the jawbone, your dentist will then place an abutment on top of each implant. This is made from titanium and connects the implant with the soon-to-be-placed crown.
Finally, your dentist will top each abutment with a shiny porcelain crown. Voila! Your new teeth have arrived.
Why Should I Consider Dental Implants?
A dental implant is the closest we can come to giving you a brand new tooth. Whether you want to improve your appearance, regain your ability to bite, or both, implants are more effective and appealing than any other option. Highly durable, implants themselves can last a lifetime with proper care, while the crowns on top typically see a lifespan of over a decade. Plus, you can choose the shade, shape and size of the crowns to create the smile you’ve always wanted.