When you lose a tooth due to extraction or it falls out from trauma, it can have a direct impact on the appearance and function of your smile. Fortunately, advancements in technology have made it easier than ever to restore lost teeth. For those who want the same look and feel of real teeth, dental implants could be a good option for those who are a good candidate.
What Exactly Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a type of artificial tooth root that acts as the permanent base for a fixed, replacement tooth. In recent years, dental implants have become a popular alternative to traditional replacement tooth solutions, such as bridges and dentures.
What makes dental implants so secure and comfortable is that dentists use medical-grade titanium implant fixtures that fuse to the living bone cells in the jaw. This results in a strong and durable anchor for your new tooth. With dental implants, there are no problems when it comes to eating, they do not need to be repaired regularly, and you can learn to smile confidently again.
Dental implants are made up of three primary components:
- Implant: This is the screw component of the implant that serves as the root of your new tooth. It is also the part that permanently attaches to your jaw.
- Abutment: The abutment is also a permanent component that can only be removed by your dentist. This part of an implant acts as the connector that supports and holds the new tooth.
- Crown: The crown is a prosthetic tooth and the only part of the tooth that you can see in your mouth. Dental crowns are typically constructed of porcelain or zirconium to make them look like real teeth.
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, a complete upper or lower arch, or an entire mouth of teeth. When replacing all of the teeth on an arch, you do not need to have an implant for each individual tooth. Instead, an entire arch only requires a total of four implants to support the teeth.
What Can I Expect During Treatment?
Dental implant surgery is typically an outpatient procedure that is performed in several stages. To prepare for the process, your dentist will perform a comprehensive dental exam, review your medical history, and create a treatment plan. Anesthesia options will be available to control pain. Before a dental implant can be placed, any damaged tooth material must be removed. If needed, jawbone grafting will be provided to create a stable surface for the dental implant to adhere to. Once the jaw is ready, the implant is placed.
Bone growth and healing must take place before the abutment can be placed. Then, our office uses state-of-the-art CBCT dental technology, also known as Cone Beam 3D Dental Imaging. This 3D imaging technology allows the doctor to digitally place the implant on a computer before undergoing the procedure which allows for precise placement.
After the procedure, you can expect some degree of swelling on the gums and face. It is also normal to experience bruising of the skin and gums, as well as pain at the implant site. Minor bleeding may also occur. You may need antibiotics and pain medication following the procedure. You will also need to eat soft foods after each part of the treatment to allow the surgical site to heal properly. If stitches are used in the mouth, know that they are likely dissolving stitches that will dissolve on their own. If you do get traditional stitches, you will need to have them removed by your dentist. Instructions for caring for your dental implants will shortly follow.
Find a Dentist in Largo FL
With decades of experience, you can trust Bonham Dental Arts with all of your restorative, cosmetic, and sedation dentistry needs. For more information about dental implants or to schedule an appointment, call Bonham Dental Arts today.