Your smile is often one of the first things people notice about you. Keeping your smile healthy can not only help you preserve your self-esteem, but also maintain good oral and overall health. For individuals missing teeth due to extractions or tooth decay, it is important to close these gaps in your smile. These can look unsightly, and limit your ability to speak and eat. In addition, leaving these gaps untreated can result in bone loss and changes to your facial structure.
For over 50 years, dental implants have offered patients across the world a long-lasting, effective way to restore their oral health and aesthetics to their smile.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants consist of titanium posts/screws which replace tooth roots and provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. These posts are surgically inserted into the jawbone. Through a process called osseointegration, the screw bonds with the surrounding bone structure, forming an anchor for a replacement tooth.
Once the screw is bonded with the jawbone — a process which may take up to six months — an abutment will be placed on the top of the dental implant. This serves as a connector for the replacement crown or bridge. For certain implants, the abutment is built into the implant post. After the abutment is attached, the replacement tooth is placed.
Implants can be used to replace an individual tooth or multiple teeth. A single tooth restoration requires a single post to be inserted into the jawbone. For implant-supported bridges or dentures, multiple posts are required.
Am I a Good Candidate for Implants?
In order to be a good candidate for this procedure, you must be healthy enough to undergo routine dental surgery. In addition, you must have sufficient bone structure and healthy gums. For some patients, their jawbone is too soft or isn’t thick enough to support a dental implant. In such instances, bone grafting may be necessary. This provides the implant with a more solid foundation.
Our dentists will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan to fit your needs. Together, we will address any questions or concerns you have regarding your dental health and how implants will benefit you.
What to Expect When Receiving Dental Implants
This is an outpatient procedure, and usually results in minimal discomfort. You may experience swelling in your face and gums, as well as bruising and minor bleeding at the implant site. We may prescribe prescription pain medication to relieve any pain after the procedure. Your diet should be restricted to soft foods for five to seven days after the procedure.
It can take up to three months for the titanium posts to bond with the jawbone. Fitting your replacement crowns or bridges may take up to one month, depending on your individual treatment needs and care plan. We will work closely with you to monitor your progress.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Designed to Last a Lifetime
Above all, the biggest benefit to dental implants is restoring your dental health.When maintained properly, dental implants will last a lifetime. After your implants have been placed, it is essential that you practice good oral health habits.
Look & Feel Like Natural Teeth
Your replacement teeth are designed to look and function like your natural teeth. A dental implant can help restore your full chewing power and your ability to eat and speak. To restore aesthetics to your smile, we will carefully match the color of your replacement crown or bridge to your adjacent teeth.
Prevents Bone Loss & Facial Sagging
When you leave gaps in your smile, it can cause your jawbone to deteriorate and move minerals to other parts of your body. This results in facial sagging and premature aging. A dental implant not only prevents this, it stimulates healthy bone growth and helps you maintain a healthy, youthful appearance.
Helps Prevent Gum Disease
Gaps in your smile can provide the perfect area for food and bacteria to collect, which can lead to gum disease. By filling these gaps and practicing good oral hygiene habits, you can prevent periodontal disease from developing.
Keeps Adjacent Teeth from Shifting
After losing a permanent tooth to decay or an extraction, it is important to replace the tooth, otherwise it may destabilize your bite. If your teeth begin to shift, it can affect your ability to chew, and make it difficult to replace the tooth later. A dental implant keeps your remaining teeth aligned and helps prevent shifting.
Providing Dentistry That Makes You Smile
At Drs. Falbo, Monday, & Graziani, PLLC, we are proud to serve patients of all ages with comprehensive dental services. Our doctors and staff strive to provide compassionate, personalized treatments and care to every patient.