Dental implants present an exciting and welcome alternative to traditional dentures or bridgework to replace lost teeth. Dental implant surgery is a safe, effective procedure which replaces lost teeth and mimics the lost tooth root. By taking the place of the lost tooth root, the dental implant guards against bone loss and preserves more of a person's natural appearance.
About dental implants
Dental implant surgery is a straightforward and routine procedure performed by thousands of dentists. The specifics of each procedure will vary from patient to patient, as each person has unique circumstances and needs. During the procedure, dental implants are placed into the jawbone of the patient, where they mimic the root of the tooth that has been lost at the implant site. The jawbone fuses to the implant, providing solid support for crowns, bridges or a full dental prosthetic.
Benefits of dental implants versus traditional dentures
Because dental implants are surgically placed in the bone of the patient's jaw, they form a much stronger, more stable base for replacement teeth. The titanium in the implants fuses with the jawbone so tightly that they do not slip or cause bone damage the way traditional bridgework or dentures might.
Dental implants are a good choice for many people
In general, dental implants are an attractive option for people who are missing one or more teeth, have adequate bone available to secure the implants, and have otherwise healthy oral tissues. For those who are unable or unwilling to wear dentures, dental implants are an excellent way to enjoy the benefits of a full set of teeth that are virtually as strong as natural teeth.
Preparing for dental implant surgery
In most cases, preparing for dental implant surgery is simple and straightforward. In some circumstances, the planning process may involve consulting with a doctor who specializes in conditions of the mouth and jaw, a periodontist and other dentists with specialized skills to address any issues a candidate for dental implants may present.
What to expect from dental implant surgery
Dental implant surgery is almost always an outpatient surgery. It is usually performed in separate steps to allow for healing time between each procedure. The process generally involves the removal of any damaged teeth as a first step. Then, preparation of the jawbone occurs, and if bone grafting is indicated, it will take place during this stage. Next, the dental implants themselves are placed securely in the patient's jaw, and a period of time is allowed for the bone to fully heal around and fuse with the material of the implant. After this step, artificial teeth are placed by the use of attachments (called abutments), and the process is complete.
Considering dental implants?
Dental implant surgery is an attractive, effective option for the replacement of lost or damaged teeth. It is a highly successful operation, allowing many people to enjoy the benefit of a full set of teeth — including increased confidence, a beautifully restored smile, and the health benefits that come from being able to enjoy a normal diet.
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