A dental implant is a metal post that is surgically positioned into your jawbone beneath your gums. This post then allows the dentist to mount an artificial tooth on that post. We’ll review the situations that might necessitate a dental implant, how the actual implant works, the dental procedure to place that dental implant and the benefits of pursuing this method of restoration.
Reasons for a Dental Implant
For a variety of reasons you have lost either a tooth or more than one. Possibly through an accident or it could no longer be saved and needed to be extracted. A dental implant allows you to maintain a healthy smile with a permanent appliance. The dental implant is the closest thing to a natural tooth when it comes to chewing and biting. They also aid in maintaining the integrity of the jawbone actually saving the jawbone from bone loss. A dental implant will preserve the structure of your face as well. If you are missing a tooth you might also find out that your speech pattern will change. Even if you have had a dental bridge filling that gap and it’s time to replace the bridge you might be a candidate for the upgrade to a dental implant. A consultation with either of our Doctors at Smile Eden Prairie will determine whether a dental implant will work for you. If you have unhealthy gums or inadequate bone to support the implant you may not be a candidate. Although at this juncture bone grafting can be considered.
Benefits of Dental Implants
The dental implant allows you to continue to exercise good oral hygiene as if your natural tooth was still there. By filling that gap it prevents the neighboring teeth from starting to drift into that gap which would really complicate your bite pattern. The dental implant is designed to last. If good oral hygiene is exercised you will get 10 to 15 years out of your implant. Some have lasted 25 years! Of course, your natural smile is back to where it began. You will look and feel great. Your self-confidence and self-esteem will not be hindered by an awkward smile. This allows you to talk, eat and laugh with confidence. You have bought peace of mind.
Different Parts of a Dental Implant
The dental implant is made up of three parts. The first part in the process is the rod, or the fixture, that is placed into your jawbone. Most of the time this small rod is made of titanium. The next piece is the implant abutment. This sits on the rod so the final piece, the crown, can be attached. It acts like a tree trunk. Finally the work of art, the crown. The crown is the part of our natural teeth that we can see above the gum line. So the artificial tooth is called a crown as well. The crown has been ordered in advance from a dental lab, most likely from an impression made from your teeth. The crown is made from ceramic and porcelain and is made to match your natural teeth.
Dental Implant Procedure
Once your consultation at Smile Eden Prairie is complete and both parties are in favor of this dental solution an x-ray will confirm the health of the jawbone. Then surgically a hole is drilled into your jawbone in which the post or fixture is placed. Your first visit is now complete. It will take several months for the post to graft or grow to the bone. Once this is completed your second visit will accommodate the abutment being placed on the post and then often times a temporary crown will be put on the abutment while your crown is being fabricated at the dental lab. Or if the abutment is not visible no temporary crown is necessary. Either way you also are waiting for the gum to totally heal. A third and final visit has the natural looking crown cemented on to the abutment. You might experience some discomfort, ever so slight, at each stage, but after you see that new crown in place it will all be worth it.
Dental Implant Aftercare
Dental implants were first introduced in 1951 and the titanium post in 1952. Today over three million people in the Unites States have implants and there are about 500,000 procedures now done a year. If you take good care of this implant, as well as your natural teeth, you will get many good years out of the replacement and often times even forget it’s there. You need to take care of your investment and your natural teeth by maintaining good oral hygiene practices. Your implant is ceramic or porcelain so you should avoid chewing ice or biting into hard objects. Don’t grind your teeth or ask the staff at Smile Eden Prairie for assistance if you do. Your new implant will stain just like your natural teeth so you need to be aware of other personal habits, such as smoking. If you enjoy dark colas, tea, coffee or red wine these can all stain your natural teeth and your new dental implant. The health industry strongly suggests you brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. If you do this well you are playing your part. You should also floss between your teeth once a day to get the surfaces of the teeth that the toothbrush can’t reach. Of course, the next level is to schedule regular and consistent visits to Smile Eden Prairie twice a year. They will evaluate your teeth, your gums, and your dental implant. They will take x-rays to keep an eye on what is going on below the gum line and then the hygienist will clean your teeth professionally. An implant is worth the time, the effort and the cost. It is a permanent solution to maintain value in your smile and your quality of life.
Contact Smile Eden Prairie
Having dental implants can significantly impact and improve the lives of those with damaged teeth. Scheduling an appointment for dental implants is the first step towards being confident in your smile once again. We are here to help you begin your journey towards the perfect smile! Please contact us to set up an appointment for dental implants at (952) 941-9829. At Smile Eden Prairie, we are passionate about your smile and committed to providing you with the quality care you need!