A missing tooth affects many aspects of your life, including your self-confidence and oral health. While it's a common issue, there are ways to restore your smile. A dental implant is one of the most popular methods to fix the problem and comes with many benefits. Here are answers to common questions so you can start a discussion with your dentist.
A Guide to Dental Implants
What are dental implants?
Implants are small titanium rods that are fixed to the jawbone. They include a metal part that projects above the gum line with a prosthetic on top of it to help fill the empty socket. They can hold one tooth or, in the case of implant-based dentures, an entire denture plate.
How long does the procedure take?
Implant surgery requires a longer recovery time because your mouth is in a sensitive state. The process usually takes two sessions to complete. During the first, the rod is fixed to the jawbone. Afterward, you'll wait about six months for the bone to harden and the gum tissue to heal. During the second appointment is the abatement procedure, where a dentist can fix the prosthetic atop the implant.
What are the benefits?
Dental implants are the best long-term option for missing teeth. With proper dental care, they can last a lifetime. They are not susceptible to decay and help keep the jawbone intact. You'll also never need to take the prosthetic tooth out, and it is comfortable and natural-looking because it is custom-fitted.
What is the aftercare like?
Dental implant surgery requires anesthesia, so ensure someone can drive you home afterward. Plan for swelling and manage discomfort with over-the-counter pain medication and by applying ice packs. You'll want to stick with soft, lukewarm foods for three to four days to protect the surgical site and avoid discomfort. To keep your mouth clean, begin softly rinsing the day after surgery and start brushing again after a week.
If you're interested in dental implants to replace a missing tooth, contact the office of Brian S. Kubo, DDS, in Kamuela, HI. Dr. Kubo has been treating patients for over 20 years and uses state-of-the-art procedures to achieve long-term outcomes. He provides unique treatments for his patients and offers solutions like implants, dental crowns, and veneers. Learn more about his practice online, or call (808) 885-8465 to schedule a consultation.
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