A well-balanced diet, proper brushing, and regular visits to your dentist are important steps to have a healthy and appealing smile. Unfortunately, certain issues may still arise, affecting the function, health, and look of your mouth, teeth, and gums. If you have lost one or more teeth due to poor oral hygiene or an injury, dental implants are a great option for restoring your smile. However, most people are not familiar with the procedure and recovery. With proper understanding and planning before, during, and after your surgery, you can join the 95 percent of patients who have dental implant success.
When you decide you would like to restore your smile with implants, you will need to visit your dentist for a full exam. During the exam, your dentist will take a series of x-rays to determine if you have any underlying issues affecting your oral health.
The x-rays will also measure the density of bone in your jaw and the amount of tissue in your gums. Without sufficient bone and gum tissue, the implants will not fuse into your jaw successfully. If you do not have sufficient bone density or gum tissue, you may require a grafting procedure before implant surgery.
You must also be prepared to commit to the entire implantation process, which can take several months. After the initial consultation and any grafting procedures are completed, your dentist will take a mold of your mouth, which will be used to create a custom implant.
Your dentist will make a small incision in the gum tissue of your missing tooth. This incision is used to open up the tissue, revealing the bone of your jaw. A drill is used to make a hole in the jawbone. Then, a titanium rod is implanted deep into this hole. The rod serves as an anchor for your artificial tooth. Sutures will close up the incision, leaving the implant behind to fuse into the existing bone.
Known as osseointegration, the fusion of the implant into the bone will ensure your artificial tooth is attached and secured in a durable, functional, and natural-looking manner. Unfortunately, the osseointegration can take a few months to complete, but it is a necessary part of the implant process.
After osseointegration, an additional surgery will be needed to place the abutment, or the piece that will attach the crown to the underlying implant. Your dentist will reopen the gum tissue to attach the abutment to the implanted anchor in the bone. The abutment will be visible in your mouth, so your dentist will place a temporary crown in place while your permanent crown is being fabricated.
If you choose a fixed permanent crown, it will be cemented or screwed onto the abutment. Or, you can opt for a removable crown, which can be easily taken out to clean and maintain. Most people prefer the fixed crown due to its natural appearance.
Implant dentistry requires time, money, and responsibility, so it is important to protect your investment with proper care.
Eat soft foods for the first few days after your implant procedures. Also, make sure to continue brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing to remove food, plaque, and bacteria from the mouth and gums.
You should not use your teeth as a tool, so avoid using your implants to bite your nails, open packages, or unscrew bottles.
A functional, appealing smile is not only important for your health, but also for your self-esteem. With the help of your dentist and this guide, you will understand how to ensure your dental implants stand the test of time. If you'd like to learn more about implants, click here for info.Share