If you are missing one or more teeth, you are not alone. Over time things like trauma, injury, and infection can all lead to tooth loss. From a treatment perspective, there are a few options for effectively replacing missing teeth. Because they look, feels, and function like a natural tooth, one of the best and most preferred options are dental implants.
The Makeup of a Dental Implant
The dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root that resembles a screw. Once the implant is inserted into the jawbone, it will form a bond with the natural bone. This mechanism provides a solid basis on which the dentist can safely install an artificial tooth, also known as a crown. The artificial tooth does not stay connected to the root on its own. There is a connector, also called an abutment, which will be put on top of the dental implant to fully support the crown. Each crown is created in a laboratory to closely match your natural teeth. Therefore, you could get measured for implants and crowns, but then there will be a period of time during which you wait for them to be created and shipped to your dentist.
Natural Looking Appearance
Dental implants are crafted to look and function just like all of your natural teeth. They are shaped specifically to your mouth and color matched to the teeth surrounding the implant. Dental implants don’t just look the part; they also function just like normal teeth. You will be able to chew foods as good as new.
Considering Other Options
If you still aren’t convinced about dental implants, check out this statement by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry: “Modern dental implants have been used successfully for over 30 years. They are the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth – and even better, they allow these new teeth to feel, look and function naturally.”
The Discomfort Associated With Dental Implants
One of the big questions that patients have when considering dental implants is whether there will be significant pain or discomfort. While the initial placement of the implant can be painful, the pain will quickly subside.
The implant placement process occurs in stages:
First, an incision is made directly into your gum. This is the new root where the original tooth once was. The dentist then uses sutures to sew up the gum. Some sutures must be removed at a later appointment, and others will be absorbed by the body. The affected area of the mouth (including gum and jawbone) can take up to six months to heal after surgery. The jawbone essentially grows around the new (artificial) root.
Next, the dentist has the option to give a patient temporary crowns to assist with eating and drinking. After the jawbone is reformed, the patient returns to have an abutment installed.
Last, the patient will return to the dentist another time to have the crown installed, which will be held to the dental implant by the abutment.
You Have Options
Overall, dental implants are one of the best treatment options available if you are missing one or more teeth. They look and function just like natural teeth, and will have your smile back on track in no time at all. If you suffer from missing teeth and believe that you may be a good candidate for dental implants, give our office a call today.