Dental implants are a strong, permanent, and natural-looking replacement for missing teeth. Unfortunately, many patients who would benefit from dental implants are hesitant to get them because they have concerns about the safety and benefits of implant installation. Here are the answers to four common questions about dental implants.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
The first thing that many people ask when they are considering dental implants is what benefits they have over other tooth replacement options such as dentures. Dental implants improve on dentures in a number of ways; one of the most significant benefits is that that they are non-removable. Once the implants have been installed, you never have to remove them to clean them or worry about them falling out at an embarrassing time.
In addition to their permanence, dental implants are as strong or stronger than natural teeth. With implants, there is a much lower risk of cracking your false teeth when eating hard foods. Implants are also a great choice for maintaining a flawless smile. Porcelain implant crowns match the color and luster of enamel so well that they are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
How Are Dental Implants Installed?
Implant installation is a process that usually requires at least two visits to an oral surgeon for single tooth replacement. During the first visit, the surgeon will make a small incision in the gums where your tooth is missing and drill the titanium implant post into the jawbone. This process is made almost painless using local anesthetic.
After installing the post, the surgeon will either attach a temporary metal healing cap to the top of the post or use stitches to close the incision in the gums. A follow-up visit is scheduled a few months later so that the implant post has plenty of time to osseointegrate, or fuse with the jawbone.
Dental health factors such as the density of the jawbone help the oral surgeon determine how many visits are necessary to complete the implant installation process. If the healing cap was placed during the first visit, the surgeon will remove the cap and attach the abutment and crown to the post on the second visit. If the surgeon instead stitched the gums together on the first visit, he or she will place the healing cap on the second visit and schedule another appointment a few weeks later to install the abutment and crown.
What is the Healing Process Like?
You can expect some degree of bruising and swelling in the gums around the implant for a week or two after the post is installed and for a few days for the follow-up procedures. Pain associated with dental implant installation is usually not severe enough to keep you out of work for more than a few days. Your dentist will usually prescribe pain medication to keep you as comfortable as possible during the healing process. Sometimes antibiotics are also prescribed to minimize the risk of infection at the site of the implant.
How Do You Care for Dental Implants?
One of the biggest conveniences of dental implants is that you care for them just like you care for your natural teeth. While porcelain crowns are impervious to tooth decay, it is still possible for plaque to build up between the crown and adjacent teeth. Continuing your normal routine of brushing and flossing will solve this problem and ensure that the gums around your teeth stay healthy.
Many dentists consider dental implants to be the best option for replacing missing teeth. If you have any other questions or concerns about dental implants, talk to your dentist so you can determine if implants are the right solution for your smile. You can click here for info about dental implants.