For most patients, dental implants are the ideal form of tooth restoration. A dental implant acts and looks exactly like a natural tooth and is a permanent solution for a missing tooth. Getting a dental implant is a multi-stage treatment process, but it provides many long-term benefits for individuals who have lost or missing teeth.
Your Initial Dental Consultation
Having lost a tooth, you will first meet with Dr. Gum to discuss your options for tooth restoration. If you have healthy gums and sufficient bone tissue to support an implant, Dr. Gum will likely recommend a dental implant for tooth restoration. You will be expected to commit to regular dental visits and ongoing dental hygiene habits at home, as these are critical to the long-term success of your implant.
Your First Appointment
At your first appointment, you will be given local or general anesthesia to prevent any pain during the installation of the implant. A titanium post will be surgically implanted into your jawbone to serve as the root of your fabricated tooth. Your next appointment will not be for three to six months because your jawbone will need time to heal around the titanium post.
Your Second Appointment
Once your jawbone has fully healed, a dental abutment will be placed on top of the titanium implant. A customized permanent crown will be fabricated to match your surrounding teeth. In the meantime, your abutment may be fitted with a temporary crown. Two or three more weeks will be allowed to pass before your final appointment so that your soft gum tissues can heal and be ready to receive the permanent crown.
Your Final Appointment
At your final appointment, the temporary crown (if placed) will be removed, and the permanent crown will be fixed to the abutment. This is the final step in the process and will complete your dental implant. You will be able to return home and resume normal life activities. Your implant will look and function like the rest of your teeth and should be cared for like your other teeth.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer the best aesthetic and functional restoration for lost teeth. An implant looks like a natural tooth and will blend seamlessly with your smile. You will be able to speak, eat, and continue dental hygiene as usual. You will not have to adopt special hygiene practices but can maintain dental care with flossing and brushing. Unlike other forms of tooth restoration, installation of a dental implant does not damage the surrounding teeth. As a permanent form of tooth restoration, dental implants protect against jawbone loss and are even stronger than natural teeth. Dental implants are an ideal solution for most individuals in need of tooth restoration.