What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a form of prosthetic teeth that are surgically implanted into the mouth. The “root” of the implant fuses with the jaw, in much the same way that the root of a tooth is also in the jaw.
Implants consist of multiple pieces including the screw-like root (called an “implant”), the connection between the crown and the implant (called an “abutment”) and the crown. The crown is the portion of the implant that looks like a tooth.
Who Needs Dental Implants?
Anyone who is missing a tooth or who has a broken, damaged or decayed tooth may be a good candidate for dental implants. In general, the best candidates for dental implants are people who have good oral hygiene and sufficient jaw bone to retain the implant. The best candidates also are non-smokers, don’t have a condition that could affect bone healing, and have time to commit to the installation process.
If you do not have sufficient jaw bone make an implant possible, your dentist in Washington MO may consider bone grafting options to make implantation a possibility. Other prosthetic teeth are also available. If an implant is not a good option for you, your dentist will go over the options with you.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants in Washington MO?
There are many reasons to get dental implants.
- Stimulates the jaw bone. Your teeth stimulate your jaw bone, which helps keep your jaw bone strong and healthy. If you’ve lost a tooth, an implant can stimulate your jaw in the same way that a natural tooth would.
- Looks natural. When it comes to prosthetic teeth, nothing looks more natural than dental implants. Dental implants are made from an impression so the implant can fit perfectly in the gap where your tooth should be. Implants are also made from materials that look like natural teeth.
- Same bite force. Some prosthetic teeth don’t have the same bite force as natural teeth – but implants do, because they’re anchored into the jaw.
- Easy to maintain. Implants are easy to maintain. They can’t be removed from your mouth like dentures, which means they need to be cleaned along with your other natural teeth.
- Firmly anchored in place. Unlike dentures, which can slip around inside your mouth, your implants are firmly anchored in place, and will not move.
- Supports natural speech. If you have a lisp because you’re currently missing a tooth, your dental implant will fix that problem. Your implant looks like a tooth and functions just like a tooth, so it supports natural speech just like your normal teeth.
Dental Implant Installation Procedure
The installation procedure can take months, depending on whether a tooth extraction and/or bone grafting is necessary. The implant is installed first, then the jaw is allowed to heal. This is a surgical procedure.
Next, the abutment is installed. This is a minor surgical procedure. Then, the area is allowed to heal.
Finally, the crown is installed. The crown will be made from an impression taken of your teeth, and will resemble your other teeth. Because an impression is used, the crown should fit perfectly in your teeth.
FAQ About Dental Implants
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about dental implants. If you have more questions, contact your dentist!
Do dental implants look natural?
Dental implants are indistinguishable from your natural teeth. The crowns are made from a material that looks like your natural teeth – and the crowns are even matched to the color of your other teeth, so they won’t stand out.
How are dental implants maintained?
Dental implants are maintained just like your real teeth. Implants need to be brushed twice per day, and flossed once per day.
Use non-abrasive toothpaste or toothpaste specifically recommended for implants. Your dentist can recommend a good toothpaste for you. Once the implant is fully installed and healed, you’ll need to continue seeing your dentist for normal oral hygiene appointments.
Can dental implants be whitened?
Dental implants don’t respond to tooth whitening like your natural teeth. If you whiten your teeth while you have an implant installed, your implant may remain its original color, while your other teeth become lighter. This may make your implant stand out, so if you have implants, it’s best not to get your teeth whitened.
How long do dental implants last?
The crown of your dental implant will last 10-15 years, or may last longer with good oral hygiene. Work with your dentist to ensure that your dental implant is properly cared for. See your dentist every six months, just like you normally would, once your dental implant is installed.
It’s also important to get your dental implants installed by an experienced, capable dental professional when getting your implant. Working with an experienced dentist will help ensure that the procedure is a success.
Need Dental Implants? Contact Us
Whether you have a gap in your teeth, or you’ve got a damaged tooth that will soon need to be extracted, a dental implant may be the solution to your problem. Dental implants look just like your natural teeth, and they feel like your natural teeth as well.
Want more information about dental implants? Call Franklin County Dental and Implants today to make an appointment with our dental professionals.