March 13 2021 by Mills Haven Dental
A missing tooth can cause loads of problems. Chewing and swallowing are no longer easy, your speech might change, and you may find your self-esteem is low.
But missing teeth can also have detrimental effects on your oral health. Chewing is like exercise for your mouth; a lack of it can lead to bone loss within your jaw (yikes). You might also find that your remaining teeth start to shift around and potentially cause more issues, like a misaligned bite, crowded teeth, and further tooth loss.
Dental implants can be a wonderful solution to missing teeth. These natural-looking solutions are made of three important pieces:
Keep reading to find out what you need to know about dental implants!
Dental implants are not something that can be accomplished in one day. If you’re considering implants, you can expect the process to take a few months, with several steps:
This step involves x-rays and tests to make sure you have enough healthy jawbone to handle dental implants. During this phase, your dentist will make sure dental implants are the right solution for you.
The actual surgery involved cutting the gum and drilling a hole into your bone. Once the hole is just right, we’ll insert the implant post. “Surgery” is a term that scares many of us, but implant surgery is very safe if you’re working with a trusted dentist.
This part of the process can take up to 6 months. Yes, you need to heal after surgery, but we also need to wait long enough for enough NEW bone growth to take place around the implant (also known as this fancy term: osseointegration). This bone growth is critical so that the implant can be as secure as possible in your jaw.
The abutment is the connecting piece between the implant and the artificial tooth. It takes a separate, minor procedure that can likely be completed in one session.
Ah, the part you’ve been waiting for! Once you’re all healed up, you’ll be able to have the artificial tooth attached! Sometimes, this can take several follow-up appointments to make sure it fits just right, especially if you have more than one implant.
Once your artificial tooth is good to go, you’ll start to notice the benefits of dental implants immediately.
Most people are extremely happy with how comfortable implants are, while still looking like natural teeth. If you were struggling to eat or talk, you’re probably going to see a vast improvement.
A great thing about dental implants is that they can last a lifetime if properly cared for! They require the same care as your real teeth: Great hygiene habits and regular visits with your dentist.
Call us to book an appointment!