Dental implants are artificial teeth roots that are anchored into your jaw to replace your missing teeth. A dental implant is stable and permanent on its own, and does not need support from its neighboring teeth.
Not everyone can have a dental implant, though. If you are healthy enough to have an extraction, you will most likely be a candidate for dental implants. You must have healthy gums, and an ample amount of bones to hold the implant. If you have diabetes, heart disease, or uncontrolled chronic disorders, or if you are a heavy smoker, you have to be evaluated by your dentist before you can have a dental implant.
Before you start with your dental implant, a team of dental specialists such as a periodontist, an ondodontist, an orthodontist, and a general dentist in Laurel MD, 20707 will work together to create an individualized treatment plan suited for you. This team of specialists will ensure that you are ready for the dental implant, and that all concerns have been addressed.
The next step is the tooth root implant. It is a small titanium post that is implanted into the bone socket of your missing tooth. As you are healing, the jawbone grows around the installed metal post, keeping it well-bonded to the jaw. Once you are healed, which takes about 6 to 12 weeks, an abutment or a small connector post will be attached to the implanted post to hold the new tooth securely. After that, a crown will be attached to the abutment.
Your dentist will create an impression of your teeth, and the new teeth are based on this model. Your new tooth will resemble the natural color of your teeth. Since dental implants are securely installed within the jawbone, your new tooth feels, functions and looks just like the rest of your natural teeth.
Dental implants are done under local anesthesia. According to some patients who had undergone the procedure, it is just like going through tooth extraction, but with less discomfort. You can expect mild soreness and pain after the procedure, and this can be relieved by over-the-counter painkillers.
Typically, a dental implant can last a lifetime but it depends on your overall oral hygiene. You have to brush at least twice a day, floss, and gargle with mouthwash. Regular visits to the dentist will also help a lot.
Having dental implants has many benefits. Since an implant is fused with bone, it is permanent, and it looks and feels like your own natural teeth. Unlike dentures, implants are comfortable and improve your speech significantly. It is also easier to chew and eat with dental implants since they are well secured into your jaw. Moreover, dental implants do not require altering nearby teeth, so you have more teeth left intact, which improves overall oral health.