For today’s patients, dental implants are simply the most advanced tooth replacement technology out there. Increasingly, they are gaining popularity as an option for patients that have experienced tooth loss.
Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that is structurally complete. As such, they provide patients with many advantages, compared to other choices, such as dentures and dental bridges. Dental implants look, function and feel much like natural teeth do. They have much more of a natural aesthetic, since they are physically connected to your mouth’s bone structure. Additionally, the materials that are used to create the bridges, crowns, and dentures supported by dental implants look similar with natural tooth enamel.
Dental implants were introduced around thirty years ago, but some patients still may be unfamiliar with the various aspects of the treatment process. When considering this treatment option, here are some questions that patients often ask:
Dental implants replace the tooth by screwing in a post that acts as the root of the tooth. Once the artificial root has been installed, a connector and crown are placed on top of the post. These crowns look just like your natural teeth and function like real teeth as well.
Your dentist will perform a thorough exam on your teeth and take pictures of your teeth and facial structure. They will also take bite impressions and x-rays of your teeth so that they can recreate the missing tooth with the highest accuracy. Your dentist will then implant a titanium post within the jawbone and allow it to heal for several weeks or months. Once it has healed, a connector (called an abutment) is attached to the post. The replacement tooth will then be attached.
For the first few days after the procedure, expect mild discomfort and aches that can be alleviated with over-the-counter medication like Tylenol or aspirin. Avoid chewing on the affected side of the mouth to avoid trauma to the tooth or prolong healing time.
Your dental implant should be treated like a real tooth, including brushing and flossing. Schedule an appointment at Arlington Dental Associates to discuss your dental implant options.