In the past, dentures were the only option available to remedy an unhealthy smile. Otherwise, a patient just had to deal with it. But missing teeth can cause speech problems, difficulty eating, shifting of other teeth, and even malformation of the jaw, so it’s important to get your smile fixed, not just for cosmetic reasons, but for health reasons, too! Thankfully, times have changed. Dentures are no longer the only option when you have broken or missing teeth. If you’ve been living with a smile you’re unhappy with, dental implants can be a quick and relatively easy way to give you the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.
Candidates for Dental Implants
To be a good candidate for dental implant surgery, you should have healthy gums and enough bone in the jaw to hold the implant. You’ll also need to have good oral hygiene and commit to regular dentist visits. If you’re a heavy smoker, suffer from diabetes or heart problems, or have had radiation therapy to the head or neck, you’ll need to be individually evaluated to determine if dental implants are right for you.
The Dental Implant Process
The actual tooth-root implant is just a small post made with titanium. The post is put into the socket in place of the missing tooth, and as your jawbone heals, it secures the post in place. This part of the process takes about six to twelve weeks.
Next, a small connector post will be attached to the existing titanium post to hold the new prosthetic tooth. The new tooth will be made with impressions of your teeth, so your current bite won’t be affected. The new tooth is then attached to the connector post. Your dentist will ensure your new prosthetic tooth matches the color and appearance of your other teeth.