implant dentist, we help patients transform their smiles, and this is one of the many procedures that we specialize in. An implant can transform a person’s smile by restoring missing teeth and giving them the full functionality that typically only comes from natural teeth. We asked our implant dentist to answer some commonly asked questions about implants and how to keep them in good condition.
Question: What is a dental implant?
Answer: There are actually two parts to an implant: a synthetic root system and a new tooth. The roots are made of a metal post, and the tooth is typically made of ceramic.
Question: What do they look like?
Answer: An implant looks like a natural tooth because it is created in a dental lab to match the surrounding teeth in shape and size. The color is also matched to the natural teeth so that it blends in perfectly.
Question: What can an implant dentist use them for?
Answer: Most of the time they are used to replace a tooth that has fallen out. This is an alternative to dentures or installing a dental bridge and looks more natural than both of those solutions. It is also more durable. At times, patients will ask for an implant to correct a crooked tooth that may not be responsive to orthodontics.
Question: How does the process work?
Answer: The main difference between an implant and any other type of procedure is the new root system that is created. In order to do this, I implant a metal post under the gums and secure it to the jawbone. The bone responds by eventually fusing with the metal. This step can take a few months, but once they are fused together, a synthetic root system exists that is as durable and strong as a natural one. Meanwhile, a new tooth is being created in the lab using an impression that was taken of a patient’s mouth. Once the first stage is complete, I secure the new tooth to the metal post at the surface of the gums and position it into place. The results look completely natural.
Question: How long will my implant last?
Answer: There is no set time frame and your dental implants can last a lifetime if you take care of your oral health.
Question: How do I keep them in good condition?
Answer: Dental implants are stain resistant and not prone to infection because they are made of ceramic and metal. The rest of the teeth in your mouth and gums are susceptible to becoming infected, so the focus needs to be on taking care of them. I recommend that patients brush after every meal and floss daily in order to remove bacteria and plaque. Teeth cleanings twice a year are also important for preventing infections and treating them right away if they do occur. The greatest risk to an implant is having an untreated oral infection spread into the jawbone. This can be prevented with regular teeth cleanings.
We are happy to answer any additional questions you have during a consultation. Schedule a consultation today.