Get Back Your Brilliant Smile
Having a healthy-looking smile is one of the biggest components of a confident lifestyle. Being proud of your teeth is what allows you to eat, smile, laugh and talk comfortably without fear of judgment. As a result, many people with poor or damaged teeth opt for dental implants. Modern dental implant procedures have been performed successfully for over 30 years and are a very safe and predictable procedure, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. But what exactly goes into a dental implant procedure?
Do I Need A Dental Implant?
Dental implants serve several purposes and may be the right option for you if you:
- Have one or more missing teeth
- Have a jawbone that’s reached full growth
- Have adequate bone to secure the implants or are able to have a bone graft
- Have healthy oral tissues
- Don’t have health conditions that will affect bone healing
- Are unable or unwilling to wear dentures
- Want to improve your speech
- Are willing to commit several months to the process
What Are the Advantages of Implants Over Other Tooth Replacement Options?
- Dental implants are non-removable and “freestanding,” i.e. they do not involve neighboring teeth
- There is no natural tooth structure involved, so they can not get a cavity
- They look & feel most like a natural tooth
- Implants are the only option that replaces the root of the tooth, which helps prevent bone loss
- They have the highest long-term success rate of any replacement option
Dental Implant Course
Ellicott Mills Dental's own Dr. Ford recently completed a 125 hour course on dental implant placement. This included placing 30 implants in a variety of scenarios, from simple to complicated, to help hone her skills.
What is Used?
An implant replacement tooth is composed of three parts. There is the implant itself, which is embedded in the bone and replaces the root of the tooth. The crown is the portion you see in your mouth, and is the same as a crown on a natural tooth. A piece called an abutment screws into the implant and protrudes above the gums, serving as a base on which connects the crown to the implant.
Replacing a tooth with an implant is a multi-step process. If the natural tooth is still present, it would be extracted and most likely a bone graft would be placed. If the natural tooth has been previously removed, a graft may still be necessary to build up the bone to support the implant. It takes approximately three months for the graft to heal before the implant can be placed. Once the implant is placed, it must heal for 3-5 months before the abutment and crown can be made. The fabrication of the abutment and crown takes about a month.
As with any medical procedure, there are risks involved. These include infection on or near the implant location, damage to surrounding teeth, nerve damage, and sinus problems. These risks tend to be rare and typically are minor and easily treatable.
Post Implant Treatment
After the procedure, patients can expect some minor bruising, swelling, pain and potentially some bleeding. Medications and antibiotics may be taken to try and reduce pain and swelling. Self-dissolving stitches are likely to be used, so be sure to eat soft foods after the procedure to allow the stitches to work.