Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace lost teeth and are designed to hide between the other teeth. They are an excellent long-term option to restore your smile. In fact, the development and use of implants is one of the greatest advances in dentistry in the last 40 years. Dental implants are made of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body. They are screws that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a firm anchor for replacement teeth.
Most patients find that a dental implant is safe, stable and a good replacement for their own tooth. In general, there are three phases to get an implant:
First, the dentist surgically places the implant in the jaw bone. Your dentist can recommend a diet of soft foods, cold foods and warm soups during the healing process.
Then, the bone around the implant is cured in a process called osseointegration. What makes an implant so strong is the bone that grows around it and holds it in place. Osseointegration means "it combines with the bone", and it takes time. Some patients may have to wait until the implant is fully integrated, up to several months, before the replacement teeth can be connected to the implant. Other patients may have implants and replacement teeth placed in a single visit.
Finally, it is time to place the artificial tooth / teeth. For a single tooth implant, your dentist will create a new tooth for you, called a dental crown. The crown is based on size, shape, color and shape and will be designed to blend with the other teeth. If you are replacing more than a single tooth, bridges or dentures made to measure will fit your mouth and your implants. (Note: Replacement teeth usually take some time to do. In the meantime, your dentist can give you a temporary crown, bridge or prosthesis to help you eat and talk normally until the permanent replacement is ready.)
If you are interested in dental implants, it is a good idea to discuss it carefully with your dentist. If you are in good health this treatment may be an option for you. In fact, your health is a factor more than your age. You may have to receive a medical evaluation by a doctor before scheduling any implant surgery.
Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or leukemia, can interfere with healing after surgery. Patients with these problems are not good candidates for implants. The use of tobacco can also slow the healing process.
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