What’s one of the first things you notice about somebody? (Hint: The answer most often given is their smile.)
When we meet people, talk to them, or just glance at them, we often smile. Whether it’s done purposefully or unconsciously, our smiles are one of the first things people see – and notice.
So, when people have missing or damaged teeth, they often don’t smile. In fact, many people try to hide their smiles when they’re missing teeth. And, unfortunately, this can negatively impact their relationships with friends and family.
In addition, missing teeth aren’t just a cosmetic problem. Missing teeth can cause problems with your speech and chewing. Also, the teeth around the missing tooth change their alignment and the jawbone having no tooth to support will begin to melt away.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant will fix all these issues, after all, it is designed to permanently replace missing teeth. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, made of titanium, that is placed into your jawbone to hold a replacement tooth or a bridge.
Because they aren’t dentures, they stay in your mouth at all times. Dental implants with crowns feel just like normal teeth are a great option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.
Another advantage for dental implants is that they don’t require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health.
Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
Even though getting a dental implant is a common procedure, it’s still oral surgery and requires plenty of recovery time. Once the dentist has placed the titanium post in your jawbone, it will take about 6 to 12 weeks for the jawbone to heal around and fuse with the implant.
Fortunately, with just local anesthesia, patients feel very little, if any, pain. After the procedure only the occasional Tylenol or Motrin will be needed.
After that, adding the abutment and the crown, the final parts that give you back your smile, is easy for your dentist to do on your final visit.
Overall it should take about two or three visits for the implant to be finished.
So, if you’re missing any teeth, visit your dentist ASAP to learn more about dental implants. Not only will it help you chew easier, speak better and save your jaw; but it’ll let you smile with your family and friends again. And really, I can’t think of any better reason than that.