Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. It’s like having your missing tooth back again! Plus, if you have dentures, implants can be used to hold those dentures in so that they never come loose! Imagine—no more embarrassment!!
The entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months. The first part of the process is to install the implant itself. Implants can be placed the same day as a tooth is removed. Multiple implants can be placed at once if necessary. Contrary to common belief, the implants are not “screwed” into place—they heal into place. As with all dental procedures, you will be kept comfortable with local numbing, and you may use nitrous oxide or a sedative pill to relieve anxiety.
The implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to heal, and during this time the jaw bone will form around the implant in a process called Osseo integration. During this healing time, you may have a temporary “plate” (partial denture) installed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper appearance for your smile. This is not always necessary and is used largely for looks only.
After the implant has healed, it is time to make it look like a real tooth. The implant is easily built up to form a base for a crown (cap). One this is done, a mold is taken to create your crown. Once the crown is completed, you can return to the office to attach the crown permanently.
Denture wearers will have their dentures modified to accept “snaps” to attach to the implants so that the denture cannot fall out ever again. Of course, the denture can be removed by the wearer daily for cleaning and maintenance of the implants. Upper dentures no longer need to depend upon suction and can even have the thick part over the roof of the mouth removed!
Your smile will look just like it used to! Just brush and floss as normal, and you can have an implant for a lifetime!