Dental ImplantsSalida, CA
Basic overview of implants
Dental implants are becoming an increasingly more common treatment for patients of all ages. Because of accidents or injuries, you may chip or crack a tooth. A dentist may even have to extract a tooth with severe decay or infection. You should not have to compromise your smile or ability to chew normally. Implants are an effective solution to these troubling issues.
The implant process does take some time, but the results are long-term. Unlike other options such as crowns or bridges, implants should last longer, usually 20 years or more if you take good care of them. You can put an end to embarrassment or social anxiety about your mouth by choosing implants.
Call our office today and schedule an appointment to discuss your needs with our dentist.
Getting implants requires a multi-step process where the patient undergoes surgery. The implants are ceramic crowns that match the color and look of natural teeth. The dentist puts the crowns on a post, or abutment, which itself attaches to a screw-like titanium base. The base acts like a normal tooth’s root and fuses to the jawbone. The implants are strong and provide a sturdy foundation as a replacement tooth.
When to consider implants
One of the benefits of getting dental implants is that the patient can use them to replace one tooth, several teeth or even all of the teeth. While dentures also are a wise choice for multiple replacements, some patients may prefer the permanent nature of the false teeth, whereas many dentures are removable and can slip out at inopportune times. Patients whose teeth have fallen out, who have broken or severely misshapen teeth or who have had teeth pulled are good candidates. However, the patient must have healthy gums and bones to get implants.
Making the decision
People who are interested in getting implants should first consult a dental professional. The dentist will explain the procedure to the prospective patient and will outline the benefits and challenges of the process. If the patient elects to go forward with the treatment, the dentist will create a plan based on the person’s needs and their condition. Lastly, the patient will schedule an appointment to begin the implant process.
The next time the patient comes into the office, the dentist will take X-rays of the person’s mouth and will make impressions. The mold goes to a lab where a technician will create customized crowns to match any adjacent natural teeth. There will also be a thorough review of the person’s health. This is essential because the dentist will give the patient medication during the surgery.
Tooth removal and implanting
Some patients come to this stage of the process already missing teeth. Others have all their teeth but need them removed because of significant decay or other unsalvageable problems. The dentist will extract the affected teeth and will then begin the first steps of surgery. This portion will require a local anesthetic. The dentist will then place the screws through the gums and into the jawbone.
Before the implanting can start, some patients may require a jawbone graft. This will be an important part of the process if the patient’s jawbone is too soft or weak to support the implants. Through grafting, the jawbone can provide a more solid foundation for all the work the implants will do. The dentist may use part of another bone from the person’s body. If more effective, the dental professional may use a synthetic graft or other appropriate material.
Time to wait
The entire implant process can take up to several months. The biggest reason for this is that the patient needs time to heal. After the screws are drilled deep into the bone, the jawbone will start to fuse with the screw. This important step will provide a base for the artificial tooth, similar to a root for a natural tooth.
Attaching the abutment
Once there is sufficient bone growth and once the patient has healed, the dentist will place the abutment, or post. This surgery is not as intensive as the first one, but the dentist will still numb the patient to reduce pain and help the person feel at ease. The dentist will open the gum so the implant is visible. Once the abutment is set, the dentist will then close the gum but keep the abutment exposed.
The false teeth arrive
After a few weeks of more gum healing, the patient will come back to the office. This is when the dentist will attach the crowns, or false teeth, to the abutments. Some dentists will take more impressions of the mouth to make sure the patient has the right teeth to match the rest of the mouth. There are removable options, though many patients prefer fixed teeth.
After getting the dental implants
The dentist will always follow up with the patient in the weeks and months that follow the procedure. In between appointments, the patient should always alert the dentist if there are any pain, discomfort, bleeding or gum issues. The dental professional may advise the person to avoid hard or sticky foods for a few weeks until the patient is used to the false teeth.
It is critical for people to choose a tooth-replacement option they can feel good about. Implants offer short- and long-term advantages. Implants can be more comfortable than dentures for many people. Dental implants should also allow the person to chew and speak normally, which is welcome news for people who have spent years unable to eat favorite foods. The implants look natural too.
Make the change
Though the procedure is lengthy, getting implants can benefit your oral health and smile. Stop living your life with social anxiety, with pain and with difficulties talking to others and with eating. Set up an appointment at our office today and consult our dentist about your desires to get implants. Now that you understand how implants work and how they can help you, take action and visit us today.
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