Dental implants are the natural-looking replacement solution to one or more missing teeth. They look and feel like natural teeth. Since implants are permanently anchored into the jawbone, this cosmetic dentistry solution allows for better chewing than removable dentures.
Dental implants are only available for those with healthy and mostly intact oral tissues and jawbone ridges.
Dr. Eisenman will analyze your individual situation to determine if your oral tissues are healthy enough and your jawbone is in good enough shape to withstand an implant. If not, he will recommend another dental makeover solution.
The Closest Thing to Natural Teeth
In cosmetic dentistry, dental implants are the closest thing to having a real tooth. An implant is an artificial tooth root, similar in shape to a screw.
When placed into your jawbone, they bond with your natural bone and become a strong base or foundation to support one or more artificial teeth.
Dental Implants look and feel like natural teeth and can last the rest of your life when cared for properly.
How Dental Implants Work
Dental implants are the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth. They feel, look and function like natural teeth.
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth made to match your natural teeth.
When performed by a trained and experienced dental implant dentist, dental implant surgery is one of the safest and most predictable procedures in dentistry.
The Structure of a Dental Implant
There are three basic parts to a dental implant.
The implant – very similar in design to a screw.
A connector – called an abutment, is placed on top of the dental implant to hold and support your crown.
A crown – which is custom-made to match your natural teeth and fit your mouth properly.
Dental Implant Procedure - What to Expect
Though each patient is different, dental implant procedures usually involve the following:
1. A Consultation:
Your dentist will examine your mouth, take X-rays and/or images. He or she will then go over your options and create a plan for implant surgery.
2. Placement of Your Implant:
During the next appointment, the dental implant will be placed in your jawbone. Most people experience little pain and certainly less than they expect. Usually you can go on with your regular routine the following day.
Local anesthesia or IV sedation can be used to keep you comfortable. Post-implant surgery discomfort is much like that of any other dental surgery. You may experience some swelling, bruising, minor bleeding, and discomfort. Discomfort can be managed with regular over the counter pain relief.
3. Osseointegration and Healing:
As you heal, osseointegration (os-e-o-in-tuh-GRAY-shun) takes place as your implant and jawbone grow and bond together to form a strong, foundation for your tooth replacement. A soft food diet is necessary for the first few weeks to ensure proper healing.
4. The Abutment is Placed:
Once your implant has properly bonded with your jawbone, an abutment is placed on the dental implant just above the gumline. Sometimes the abutment can be placed at the same time as the implant. The abutment is the connector between the implant and your new tooth or crown.
5. A New Custom-Made Tooth is Attached
An impression is taken of your mouth is taken to custom make a crown that will match and fit properly with your existing teeth. The crown is attached to the abutment.
Dental Implants vs. Crowns, Bridges, or Dentures
Dental implants feel, look, fit, and function like your natural teeth. They also help you retain your natural face shape and smile.
You brush and floss them just like you do your natural teeth. With dentures, you must remove them for brushing and cleaning.
Bridges and dentures may require replacement every five to ten years. When properly cared for, dental implants can last your lifetime.
Implants are secure. They do not click when you talk or eat. They won’t slip out of place like dentures. Your speech will be natural. You can eat, talk, and smile freely with confidence.
Implants are better for your jawbone and nearby teeth. They can stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss. With bridges, adjacent teeth may have to be ground for anchoring. With implants, adjacent teeth are not altered.
For those with dental fears: