Dental implants are a great option to replace missing teeth. These prosthetics are artificial tooth roots that are anchored directly in the jawbone. Replacement teeth – usually dental crowns – are secured to the posts. Because implants are fixed directly in the jaw, rather than removable like dentures, they provide a more secure fit and greater function than other teeth replacement options. This means that they can improve your appearance, retain your facial structure, and allow you to speak with greater clarity while enjoying all the same foods as you always have. The procedure for placing dental implants can be completed in three to five visits over a period of four to eight months.
Before placing implants, your dentist will ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure, meaning that you have healthy gums and sufficient bone structure to support the implants. The procedure does require surgery, as an incision will be made in the gum line on the site of the missing tooth (or teeth). The bone must be prepared for the implant before it is screwed into place. The gum tissue is then stitched closed and left alone to give the bone time to fuse around the implant. After approximately four months, the implant should be fully fused into the jawbone and ready to support the artificial tooth/teeth.
Patients may be reluctant to choose dental implants to replace missing teeth because of the cost, but in the long run, they are often a more cost-effective option than bridges or dentures. They help prevent future dental problems, such as gradual bone loss in the jaw, and allow for better function. Schedule an appointment to speak with a dentist about your teeth replacement options.