Missing teeth are more common than you may think. In fact, about 69% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 have one or more missing tooth. Did you know one in four Americans older than 74 have none of their natural teeth left? While missing teeth are common, that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with a gaping hole in your mouth. Fortunately, there are dental implant procedures that can give you back your smile. But what exactly is a dental implant? To answer that question, this article is going to provide some important things to know about being a dental implant patient.
First things first, it’s important to understand that a dental implant isn’t the replacement tooth. The implant is a replacement for tooth roots and provides a solid foundation for a replacement tooth to be put on. These replacement teeth are made to match your natural teeth to provide a seamless smile.
There are plenty of advantages patients can receive from having a dental implant procedure. Some dental implant procedures may include:
§ Improved appearance of your smile
§ Easier eating and speaking
§ Increased oral health
§ Alleviated discomfort
§ Increased convenience and durability
Dental implant surgery is a great option for anyone who is healthy enough to undergo the procedure. It’s a safe, successful alternative to having missing teeth and can significantly improve the life of the patient.
However, it is important to note that the dental implant procedure is not quick. In fact, it takes numerous procedures to have a replacement tooth put in. The procedure starts with meeting with an experienced oral surgeon, who will determine the best course of action to take. After the treatment plan is established, the root implant is placed into the bone socket where the tooth is missing. The jaw bone will heal around the implant, creating a solid foundation. This healing process can take multiple weeks before the next step can be performed. After the jaw bone has healed, a connector, called an abutment, is secured to the implant. And after the replacement tooth, called a crown, is created, it is attached to the abutment.
So while this process may take longer than expected, it’s worth it in the end. Dental implant teeth look and feel just like real teeth and can bring a new sense of self-confidence to those who are missing teeth.