Dental implants are an effective and safe way to replace teeth. Essentially, an implant looks like a screw and will act as an artificial root when the need to replace teeth arises. Implants are placed surgically into the jawbone to replace the root of the missing tooth. When considering implants, a patient can replace a single tooth or several teeth. They have been used for several decades, and may be a good option if:
- You have missing teeth
- Are not satisfied with dentures
- Want to keep other teeth intact
Implants are strong and secure, which may be an appealing alternative to dentures. They can also help the jawbone from shrinking that may come from missing teeth. Unlike a traditional bridge, an implant doesn’t need support from the teeth next to it. Dental implants can cost more than replacement options and take longer to place, but they can last a lifetime.
At your dental consultation, your dentist will provide you with a treatment plan including the estimated amount of time to complete the process. Total treatment time can be as short as a few months, or longer for more complex cases. The first step of the procedure is to surgically place the implant and after it’s placed, it will take time to fuse to the bone. During the next step, the implant is uncovered, and the dentist will attach a post to the implant. Once this has healed, this can serve as the foundation for the new tooth. The final step will include making a crown that will attach to the implant post.
Be advised that implants are not for everyone. You will want to check with your dentist to see if you are a good candidate for implant surgery.
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