Tooth loss can have a negative effect on personal appearance as well as with dental health. When someone loses one or several teeth, it can cause the other teeth to shift out of position. Often, this will lead to changes in one’s bite, decay, gum disease and the loss of more teeth. A dentist will be able to tell a person if he or she is eligible for an implant.
Through the use of dental implants, it is possible to replace one tooth or a series of multiple teeth. Every implant will consist of a metal anchor that goes into the jawbone as well as a protruding post. The post will then receive an artificial tooth that has been specifically outfitted for it.
Implants have been used for bridge support, replacing partial dentures as well as securing a fixed denture into place. The entire process will require surgery. Depending upon the amount of work that needs to be done, the process could take as long as a year to be completely finished.
There is a multi-step process to place an implant inside of the mouth. Each implant is different based upon location in the mouth as well as the reason for the implant to be placed in general. Therefore the steps can vary slightly. Local anesthesia will be used for the first step. This includes placing a metal anchor into the jawbone. This is commonly referred to as an artificial root. As the bone grows, it will help to root the anchor, which can take between 3 and 6 months. A healing cap will be placed on the anchor as the implant heals within the jawbone. After a few months, the healing cap is removed and a metal post can be affixed to the anchor. After everything has healed, an artificial tooth or crown is made in the laboratory, based upon an impression of the mouth. It will then be affixed to the post. The tooth can be affixed using either cement or a screw. The new crown fitting may take several appointments. A dentist may have to make adjustments to the way it is secured or to the actual shape of the crown.
Once an implant is properly in place, it will require significant care. Brushing and flossing should occur twice daily, just as with normal teeth. It’s also important to get around all areas of the crown and floss around the sides. Some foods should also be avoided. This includes hard and sticky objects, such as hard candy or caramel.
A healthy mouth can be obtained by following proper hygiene. A dentist will detail exactly what kind of care will be needed in regards to an implant.