The loss of one or more of your teeth not only affects the way you look, but your oral health as well. If missing teeth go untreated, your remaining teeth can shift, your bite can change and you may have trouble eating or speaking.
The best thing that you can do for your health is to replace those missing parts of your smile. Today, dental implants are one of the best ways to replace missing teeth as they completely restore the entire structure of a tooth, from root to crown.
Keep reading to learn more about what to expect from implant treatment and how it can transform your smile — and your life.
Preparing for Implant Treatment: What to Expect
- Evaluation and preparation of your jawbone. Prior to receiving implants, you must first be examined by your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate. Your dentist will consider a number of factors, including your overall health and whether you have sufficient jawbone to support each implant. If your jawbone isn’t strong enough, your dentist may recommend bone grafting to recreate adequate jawbone density.
- Placement of the dental implant. Once you have been approved for implants, you will undergo a surgical procedure to have the implants placed. The process involves the strategic placement of small, durable titanium metal posts into the jawbone, replacing the previous tooth’s root. The post will support the replacement tooth that fits on top.
- Healing and fusion. Once the implant is in place, you will wait three to six months for the titanium implant posts to naturally fuse with the soft tissue and bone structure — a process known as osseointegration. Titanium is biocompatible, which means it integrates naturally with your bone throughout the course of the healing process. This creates a secure foundation for your new tooth that closely mimics the root and prevents future bone loss.
- Crown placement. After the healing and fusion stage, you finally will be able to see the anticipated results — your new tooth! The final step involves attaching a natural-looking porcelain crown to the top of the implant post. The crown is designed to match the shape and color of your natural teeth. With the crown in place, you will be able to eat and chew with ease, brush and floss normally, and smile with confidence again.
Find Out If Implants Are Right for You
Whether you need to replace a single tooth or a full mouth of teeth, it is important that you seek treatment for replacement. Problems associated with tooth loss will likely get worse over time. Dental implants are an excellent replacement option, helping to preserve your jawbone, keeping adjacent teeth healthy and improving your smile.
For more information about dental implants and to learn if you are a good candidate for treatment, contact McLean DDS today for a consultation. Beyond improved function and aesthetics, dental implants can last a lifetime with regular checkups and proper care at home.