Are you happy with your smile? A study showed that only 25% of Americans are extremely satisfied with their oral health.
Do you have a tooth that you need to have pulled? Is it time to replace your current bridge? Maybe you had a tooth removed some time ago, and you have been trying to decide how you should take care of the space that is now there.
If any of these questions have you nodding along in agreement, then dental implants might be the right choice for you.
Keep reading to learn more about the dental implant procedure and what you can expect.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial roots placed in the jaw that have an artificial tooth, called a crown, attached to the top.
There are three parts to a dental implant:
- Implant – a screw-shaped post placed into the jaw
- Abutment – connects the implant to the crown
- Crown – an artificial tooth attached to the abutment
Unlike bridges or dentures, dental implants stand alone and have no other teeth involved in the process.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant process is a bit of a lengthy one, usually taking several months from start to finish. Here’s a break down of the procedure into the different parts of the implant.
The first step is placing the implant. This part is usually done with local anesthesia by an oral surgeon. The surgeon drills into your jaw bone to create the hole needed for the implant screw.
After completing this step, you wait about three or four months for the implant to fuse to your bone and heal before moving on to the next part of the process.
After the dental implant is healed, it is time to place the abutment to prepare for the final crown. Some dentists place a temporary abutment, also called a healing cap, during the initial implant surgery and then place a final abutment after it has healed.
The final step is permanently placing your crown. Crowns are typically made from ceramic or porcelain fused to metal. Once the crown is placed, your new dental implant tooth can be used just as any natural tooth.
Aftercare for dental implants is the same as care for your natural teeth. You will need to keep up with flossing, brushing twice a day, and regularly scheduled dental appointments. Your implant will likely last you a lifetime, and the crown may need to be replaced after 10-15 years.
Correcting Your Smile
Now that you understand the dental implant procedure, talk to your dentist to see if dental implants are right for you. You can join the 3 million people in the US who already made the decision to improve their oral health and their smiles with dental implants.
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