As dental patients live longer, more active lives, so rises the need for high quality tooth replacement options. Millions of Americans lose one or many teeth every year due to factors such as dental trauma, untreated gum disease or advanced tooth decay. There are many options available for the replacement of missing teeth. The professionals at O’Brien Dental Care are proud to provide dental implants to patients who require the replacement of one or several teeth.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial dental device that is used to replace a missing tooth at the root. Often composed of titanium or another type of metal, implants are screwed directly into the patient’s jaw in the space formerly occupied by a natural tooth root. Once the implant is secured to the jaw it will be capped with a porcelain or enamel crown to give it the appearance of a natural tooth. This crown will be custom made to match the shape, size and color of your surrounding teeth for a seamless appearance.
What are the Advantage of Receiving Dental Implants?
Generally, the greatest advantages to dental implants for the replacement of missing teeth are strength, appearance and ease of maintenance. Dental implants will be custom made for your unique smile, making them incredibly discreet forms of treatment.
Additionally, because dental implants use metal posts that are screwed into the jawbone, they are permanent restorations unlike other treatments such as dentures. Finally, dental implants are maintained as easily as your natural teeth. In fact, you’ll likely forget you’ve even lost a tooth.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are an effective solution for dental patients of all ages, except growing children. The patient must be in good health and must have proper bone density and a strong immune system prior to oral surgery.
What are the Alternative Treatments to Dental Implants?
The most common alternative treatment for replacing missing teeth is to be fitted for a denture. Dentures can be made as partials for those patients who have some natural teeth remaining, or as full dentures, for those patients who require extraction of all of their teeth. Unlike dentures, treatment with dental implants will not require the extraction of any healthy teeth.
While many patients are pleased with the performance of their dentures, the devices are temporary and offer several other disadvantages when compared to dental implants. Dentures can slip or move, causing difficulty eating and speaking as well as discomfort to the gums. Additionally dentures must be removed every evening and require soaking, cleaning and other maintenance.
Do Dental Implants Hurt?
Once inserted into your mouth, dental implants will feel no different than your natural teeth. However, the process for receiving dental implants is oral surgery. You will be given anesthesia so that you will not feel the procedure. However, following treatment, your mouth may be swollen and sore. It will take weeks for your gums and jaw to completely heal following dental implant treatment. However, any discomfort should subside on its own within a number of days. You can begin using your new “tooth” to chew and eat as soon as your comfort level allows.
How Long Will Dental Implants Last?
With the proper at home dental care routine and regular visits to the dentist, your dental implants will last for years. In many cases, dental implants will last a lifetime.
How Should I Clean My Dental Implant?
Your dental implant can be cared for just as you care for your other teeth. Brush your teeth, including your implant, after every meal. Floss daily and visit the dentist for examinations and check-ups every 6 months.
To learn more about treatment with dental implants, contact O’Brien Dental Care today.