Millions of Americans find themselves with a diminished quality of life due to missing or unsightly teeth. Regardless of the reason, missing or damaged teeth can have a negative effect on several everyday tasks. Eating, speaking and even smiling can become difficult both physically and emotionally. But you don’t have to settle for this reality. If this sounds like the situation you’ve found yourself in, maybe it’s time to discuss dental implants with your dentist.
Dental implants have become a very popular and effective way to replace missing or damaged teeth. Designed to blend in with your natural teeth, they provide a great long-term option for restoring look and function to your mouth. Thanks to major advances in the development and use of implants, most patients find that they are secure and stable, providing an excellent replacement for their own tooth.
There are typically three phases of having a dental implant placed:
- The first step involves the surgical placement of the implant post into either the top or bottom jawbone. Your dentist may recommend a diet of soft, cold foods and warm soup during the healing process.
- The next phase involves the healing of the bone around the implant in a process called osseointegration. Implants are particularly strong because the bone actually grows around it, holding it into place. Osseointegration means “combines with the bone,” and the process can take some time. Some patients might need to wait until the implant is totally integrated before replacement teeth can be attached; several months in some cases.
- Once osseointegration takes place, it’s time for the placement of the artificial tooth. For a single tooth implant, your dentist will customize a new tooth for you, referred to as a dental crown. The crown will be based on size, shape, color and fit, and will be designed to blend in with your other teeth. If you are replacing more than one tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures will be made to fit your mouth and your implants. Your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture to help you eat and speak normally while the permanent replacements are being made.
While dental implants are a great option for most people, not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure. Individuals with chronic illnesses, like diabetes or leukemia, may have a difficult time healing after surgery. Tobacco users might have a difficult time healing too. If you are considering dental implants to replace your missing or damaged teeth, consult with your dentist to determine if they are a good fit for your unique circumstances. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about dental implants, contact Miami Dental Sedation Spa, and one of our trained dental professionals will be happy to help.