Dental implants are an effective and popular option for people that are missing teeth or wear uncomfortable dentures. Designed to look like your other teeth, dental implants are one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years. If you are curious about this latest innovation, here are five things you should know about dental implants:
1. There are generally three stages to getting an implant.
First, the dentist surgically places the implant into the jawbone. Next, the bone around the implant heals in a process called osseointegration. This is the phase in which the bone actually grows around it to hold it in place; this is what makes implants so strong. Thirdly, the dentist puts the artificial tooth or teeth in place. The entire process may take months from start to finish.
2. The dental implant procedure involves very little discomfort.
Local anesthesia is used during the procedure and most patients report it is less painful than a tooth extraction. Afterwards, mild soreness can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications. You may need to eat soft foods while the surgical site heals.
3. Your health is more of a factor than your age.
In most cases, anyone that is healthy can be considered for a dental implant procedure. The main criterion is having healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. Heavy smokers or those with diabetes or heart disease may not be good candidates.
4. Dental implants require the same care as your natural teeth.
After getting dental implants, the upkeep is easy. Implants need to be brushed, flossed, and kept plaque-free just like the rest of your teeth. However, damaging habits like chewing tobacco, ice, or hard candy may damage the crown and should be avoided.
5. Implants allow you to enjoy life without worrying about your teeth.
Implants allow your mouth to retain its natural shape and smile without impacting speaking. Eating, talking, smiling, laughing, kissing, yawning, or coughing does not affect implants.
With proper care, dental implants have a success rate of 98% and will last a lifetime. If you have more questions or would like to talk with the dentist about this procedure don’t hesitate to reach out!