How Does a Dental Implant Procedure Work?
The dental implant procedure starts like all surgical procedures—with anesthesia.
Once you are numb (or unconscious) Dr. Dean, Dr. Meek, or Dr. Scott will drill a screw-like titanium post into your jawbone.
As soon as the implant fuses with the bone, the dentist will mount a replacement tooth or a dental bridge onto the titanium post.
When the procedure is finished, you will have a natural-looking implant that will not move, make noise, decay, or cause additional damage to your mouth.
What Are Dental Implants Made Of?
Dental implants are almost always made from titanium or a titanium-based alloy. Titanium is the preferred metal for dental implants because of its durability, strength, and ability to serve as an exceptional base for the replacement tooth.
What Do Dental Implants Look Like?
Dental implants look virtually identical to natural teeth. The implants are specifically designed to mimic the size, dimensions, and even the color of the teeth that they are replacing. Therefore, they can blend in seamlessly with the rest of the natural teeth in the mouth.
Why Do People Get Dental Implants?
Dental implants are used in patients who want a permanent solution for missing teeth. Dental implants are individual replacements for missing teeth, so they can be used to replace a single tooth or an entire mouth full of teeth as needed.
The big advantage of dental implants are that they look, feel, and behave like natural teeth. They won’t move, they won’t slip, and they won’t require removal, special cleaning, adhesives, or regular maintenance. Once the implant is in, it’s in.
How Long Will My Dental Implants Last?
Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants don’t come loose because they don’t need to be anchored to your mouth with adhesive (dentures) or another tooth (bridges). And because of the durable materials they’re made with (namely, titanium), dental implants will not decay or require replacement under normal circumstances. As long as you embrace fundamental oral hygiene (e.g. regular brushing, flossing, etc.), your dental implants should last at least 25 years.
What to Expect When Getting a Dental Implant?
Your implant procedure will take place over two appointments.
During the first appointment, the doctor will anesthetize you to make you as comfortable as possible. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the doctor will make minor incisions in your gum line to access your jawbone, before drilling small anchor ports into the bone itself. Finally, the doctor will insert the titanium implants into the newly drilled ports.
This concludes the first procedure.
After a period of healing, you will schedule a follow-up appointment where you’ll return for part two of the implant procedure.
During this second phase, the dentist will make another series of incisions in your gum line to access the base of the titanium implant and insert a post-shaped device called an abutment. As soon as the abutment is secure, the dentist can finish the process by placing a custom crown for a smooth, natural looking tooth replacement.
What are Implant Dentures?
More than 40 million people in the US were reported to have dentures in 2020. For many people dealing with tooth loss, traditional dentures are a godsend — a full set of perfect teeth that make chewing, speaking, and smiling easier. Unfortunately, traditional dentures have their drawbacks. Implant dentures go a long way toward alleviating some of those concerns. Rather than removable pieces, implant (sometimes called “snap in”) dentures are placed using screws implanted in the jawbone. Two to four screws are generally used, but more may be needed. Once the implants are placed, the overdenture is set.
Overdentures may be designed to be removable for cleaning, but they can also be permanently installed, alleviating the need for removal. This permanence makes removable dentures more reliable for speaking or chewing, particularly in regards to sticky or crunchy foods. They also provide a more comfortable fit with less rubbing on the gums. Implant dentures are most appropriate for adults who have significant tooth loss or decay but reliable tissue in the mouth. If you are tired of your traditional dentures and just want your smile back, implant dentures might be just what you need.