What is a dental implant?
You might think of a dental implant as a post along a wooden fence. The post is secured in the ground and links the rails together, creating a strong structure. A dental implant, which is an artificial tooth, replaces a tooth when it has been lost to decay, damage, or gum disease. It is an alternative to a dental bridge, and like the strong, new fence post, creates a strong mouth structure. A dental implant is an alternative to a dental bridge, and the artificial tooth sits atop an implant that acts as a root in your gum and bone, allowing you to chew and smile in a natural and healthy way.
Why might I choose a dental implant?
When you lose a tooth, there are various options you and Dr. Friedman might decide to take, and a dental implant has some advantages over other alternatives. Because they look and feel like your own natural teeth, they do not have the slip or discomfort of some dentures; a fact that makes chewing easier. Additionally, they do not require the use of other teeth to hold them in place – which bridges do – so more of your teeth are left intact, improving long-term dental health. Because dental implants are permanent, you never have to worry about removing them in embarrassing situations, or having to go extra steps in keeping them clean. They can improve how you feel about yourself, as well, because your smile looks natural.
What can I expect with a dental implant?
Most people who have otherwise healthy gums and bones are candidates for dental implants. The dentists and hygienists at Bluffton Center for Dentistry will act as a team to devise a program of implant care for you, which will require more than one visit. First, a post — the actual implant, made of metal — will be inserted in the bone beneath the space where the tooth has gone missing. Next, a smaller post will be added to the top, on which the replacement tooth, or crown, will eventually be bonded. The new tooth is modeled by your dentist after the pattern of your other teeth so that it fits your individual bite. Your dentist will also match the appearance of the new tooth – its shape and color – to your natural teeth so that it looks like the real thing.