If you have one or more teeth missing or no teeth at all, you may be considering dental implants. The end result of a dental implant is a beautiful, stable and natural-looking tooth! It’s like your tooth was never gone! Sounds great right? It is! Before starting the process of getting your dental implant, it is important to know it is just that, a process.
So how does it work? How long does it take? Is it right for you?
Read on to find out!
People commonly refer to the entire process as a “Dental Implant” but it’s actually three pieces.
- The implant is placed below your gum line into the bone.
- The abutment is then placed into the implant as an artificial root.
- The crown is the new tooth or “cap” seated on top.
Dental implants are a fantastic option for you if you have healthy gums, are in good health and have enough bone to support the implant. A consult with your dentist can determine if you meet these requirements or if more work needs to be done prior. Your dentist will also go over some other factors that could affect your healing processes such as smoking or certain health conditions. Getting a dental implant consultation is your first step in this multi-step process.
Once you are given the green light to start your implant journey, you will have the dental implant placed in an in-office procedure. The implant will be placed in your jaw with local anesthesia. A healing cap is then placed on top. Your dentist will go over healing instructions, dietary restrictions and what to expect. It is also important to note that an implant can’t be whitened. The dentist will match the color with your natural teeth to make the closest match possible.
The healing process for implants can be two to six months. Once healed, you will have your abutment placed. This will stick up from your gum line and then an impression can be taken for your crown. Once your crown is created, it is placed atop your abutment, completing your journey. In some cases, you can expect to have a temporary crown until it’s time for the permanent to be seated. This can make chewing and speaking a bit easier during the waiting process.
It’s important that you take proper care of this investment. You need to care for your implants just as you would your teeth. So your normal daily flossing, dental cleanings and morning and night brushing are of utmost importance. Dental implants are a great way to get your teeth back to functioning properly as well as restoring your confidence. Your dentist will have much more detailed information, will be able to answer your questions and walk you through your personal process. So take the leap, get a dental implant consultation today!