Nearly all adults will need tooth replacement at some time in their lives. There are many options for single tooth replacement; but none are as long-lasting and natural-looking as dental implants. Like natural teeth, dental implants are rooted in the bone beneath the gums. They are customized to each patient’s natural tooth shape, size and color, making for a more functionally and cosmetically appealing tooth replacement option than bridges or partial dentures can offer.
Did you know…
know that missing one or more teeth puts you among the majority of adults in America? The American Associate of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons reports that nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults are missing at least one tooth by ages 35 – 44. Young to middle-aged adults can expect to require at least one tooth prosthetic for up to 50 years or more. Instead of visiting the dentist frequently to replace or re-fit a partial denture or bridge, many people choose dental implants, which are designed to last a lifetime.
You may be a candidate for single tooth replacement if you are missing one or more teeth and are in search of a long-lasting prosthetic that will most closely resemble the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth. You’ll need an initial consultation with your oral provider to determine whether you have sufficient bone to support an implant. If you wait too long to get an implant after losing a tooth, the bone that once supported it may begin to deteriorate beneath the surface of your gums.
A dental implant is placed over the course of multiple appointments. After the initial consultation, you’ll return to your dental provider to have the implant – which is made of a titanium rod – surgically placed into the jawbone. The gums will be sutured shut, and the implant will be left to fuse with the bone over a period of 6 to 9 months. After that time, you can return to your provider to have a crown placed over the implant.
It is normal to experience some discomfort and swelling following an implant procedure. Your oral surgeon may prescribe medications to help prevent infection and alleviate pain. Expect to require a soft foods diet for the first 2 weeks after surgery. Once you receive your crown, you’ll probably find that keeping a dental implant clean is much like cleaning your own teeth. Because they are not removable, you can brush them and the gums around them like you would your surrounding teeth. Continue to visit the dentist regularly for dental cleanings and examinations.