Dental implants are custom-designed to match your smile specifically, and are made to integrate with natural bone tissue to create a strong, stable biting surface. Unlike other tooth replacement options, they sit in place permanently, offering incredible value over time. However, many patients have questions about how implants are placed and what they should expect. Here are a few common questions about implants answered for you.
Common Dental Implant Questions, Answered
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are false teeth that are anchored to your natural jaw tissue with a small titanium post. Your natural bone tissue integrates with titanium, creating a tooth that won’t move and is strong enough to chew crispy, crunchy foods.
Implants are made from the same material porcelain crowns are made from, and can either be designed to change the look of your smile or to blend in completely.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Most people who are missing teeth are great candidates for dental implants. However, if you smoke, you may need to stop at least one week before and for at least two months after implant placement to help the area heal. Patients who have taken medication for osteoporosis may not be eligible for implants, since bisphosphonates can increase the risks for a rare disorder called osteonecrosis.
What is the implant process like?
Receiving dental implants often occurs in stages, since the teeth and jaw need time to grow. Since jaw tissue tends to regress after a tooth is lost, some patients may require bone grafts before implants can be placed. The area may need several weeks to heal and become strong enough for an implant.
Next, an opening is made in the gum tissue and the dental implant support post is placed. A healing cap is placed on the implant until the area has recovered from the procedure. After the implant has healed, your dentist will remove the healing cap and secure a porcelain crown to the post, and your implant will be ready to use.
How should you care for implants?
Dental implants should be cared for carefully, just like your natural teeth. However, you should brush with a non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the surface of the implant. When flossing, you should floss all the way around the top of the implant, since bacteria can build between your oral tissues and the post.
If you are considering dental implants, reach out to Waterford Dental Health. With a commitment to creating a comfortable environment and offering state-of-the-art care, Dr. Bruce Patterson, Dr. Kenneth Nogacek, Dr. Melissa Nogacek, and Dr. Jason Campbell can help you to enjoy the best smile of your life. Learn more about their preventative and restorative services by visiting their website or by giving their office a call at (860) 447-2235.