If looking at your smile in the mirror does not make you feel confident, maybe it’s time to fix the problem. Many people go through life not satisfied with how their teeth appear, and are unaware that a life-changing solution will have them smiling at every opportunity. With dental implants, it is possible to have replacement teeth that function as well as natural teeth. Most of us enjoy laughing and smiling. It is who we are naturally, and what we do when we are around people whose company we enjoy. However, when teeth are broken, decayed, or missing, the tendency is to hide them by covering the mouth with the hands or smiling less. If this describes you, dental implants allow you to speak and laugh with confidence, and make socializing fun again. Once you know how dental implants work, you can decide if they are the right choice.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small cylinder or screw that a dentist inserts into the jawbone to repair missing teeth. The implant works like the tooth’s root, providing a base that allows the tooth to stay firmly attached inside the mouth. Dental implants offer a means of securing artificial teeth or crowns. Whether an individual needs one replacement tooth or several, dental implants make it possible. A maxillofacial surgeon, oral surgeon, or periodontist usually performs dental implant surgery.
Dental Implants Make Eating Easier
Missing teeth can also make eating a challenge. You miss out on valuable nutrients when you cannot bite and chew whole fresh foods like apples and carrots, and eating soft foods at every meal can be boring. It can be frustrating to turn down invitations to go out to eat with friends because you don’t know what’s on the menu. If this describes you, it is time for you to stop missing opportunities to enjoy good food with friends. Dental implants can help you start enjoying food and friends. With dental implants you can have teeth that work like your originals, so you can chew the foods that taste good and are healthy for you.
Dental Implants Can Improve Overall Health
Missing teeth can create crevices and spaces where bacteria can hide and thrive, causing gum disease. Gum disease affects more than the mouth: it is associated with heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. Healthy teeth promote healthy gums. Dental implants can give you a full mouth of teeth that can protect your gums against harmful bacteria.
Dental Implants: A Permanent Solution
Some people choose dentures when they have missing teeth. Dentures may work well for many people, but they are not for everyone. Dentures require cleaning and soaking to eliminate food and residue from wearing them and eating throughout the day. It is typical for nuts, seeds, and food particles to become stuck under dentures when eating, but this is not a problem when the teeth are attached to implants. Since implanted teeth are permanent, you care for them as your natural teeth.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
There are advantages to choosing dental implants. While dentures and bridges are options, people seeking cost-effective natural-looking replacement teeth that can last a lifetime prefer dental implants. Unlike dentures and bridges, implants stay in place with no worries about shifting during eating or speaking. Dental implants also help maintain jawbone health. They help prevent facial sagging due to tooth loss, and stimulate jawbone growth.
Preparation for Dental Implants
Individuals who come to our office for dental implants will undergo an examination and x-rays to evaluate the teeth and jawbone. These steps are necessary for Dr. Elena C. Puig to develop a treatment plan. In some cases, the patient will need some preparatory procedures before getting implants. Over time, a person with missing teeth can experience deterioration and loss of jaw bone mass. When jawbone mass loss occurs, bone grafts may be necessary to rebuild the structure. When sinuses are too close to upper teeth, a patient may require surgery to raise the sinuses before inserting the implants.
What Happens During Dental Implant Surgery?
During dental implant surgery, incisions are made in the gums to expose the jawbone in order to insert a small titanium cylinder or multiple cylinders into the bone. After insertion, the cylinders require time to fuse with the bone, and the gum tissue heals over the post. The healing time for this process, known as osseointegration, will take six weeks to several months. Temporary teeth or caps positioned over the implants protect them during healing.
Once the implant healing phase is complete, Dr. Puig will remove the temporary caps and attach a small connector called an abutment to the implant. The abutment is what secures the replacement tooth to the implant. It takes approximately two weeks for a patient’s gums to heal from the abutment procedure. Dr. Puig then places the prosthetic tooth or crown on the abutment. Depending upon your treatment plan, it may be possible to get implants and replacement teeth during the same appointment.
Learn How Dental Implants Can Help You
Do you struggle with eating, speaking, and other issues that come with missing teeth? Is your self-esteem suffering because your appearance has changed due to losing jawbone mass? Dental implants may resolve your problems. If you have one or two teeth that need replacing, you may be concerned about how new teeth will match your natural teeth. Dr. Puig and the team can match the color of the implanted teeth to your natural teeth. It is time to stop being ashamed or worried about damaged or missing teeth. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation, and let’s get started on the healthy smile you deserve.