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Missing or damaged teeth, whether due to trauma, decay or even infection, can have a negative impact on your smile and overall self-esteem. For some patients who want a more durable solution to tooth loss, dental implants may be a great option. When dentures or bridgework are not enough to restore full functionality of the teeth, your dentist may recommend dental implants. This is the most permanent solution for patients wanting the most natural look and feel of regular teeth, without the unpredictability of dentures.
Missing teeth, trauma and decay are all reasons why you might seek dental implants. First, your dentist will take your health and dental history into account and make sure you are a good candidate for dental surgery, as it usually requires two surgeries. Some conditions, such as cancer, blood disorders and diabetes are risk factors for oral surgery. It is a lengthier process than a denture or dental crown fitting, and there can be months of healing after the initial surgery.
The first surgery consists of an artificial root that is created using a metal rod inserted into the jawbone, protruding out through the gums. This jaw implant needs time to heal as the bone grows into and surrounds it. Because it can take several weeks for the jawbone to fully heal, many patients find wearing dentures to be a good option while they wait for their tooth implants to be fabricated. After the metal rod, or series of rods, are surgically implanted and the bone has healed, your dentist will attach posts to the implants. An impression is then taken so that the lab can begin creating your custom teeth. This can sometimes take a few weeks. When the replicas are completed, your dentist will then attach them to the posts. You new teeth will feel and look like regular teeth – and there will be no chance for cavities like natural teeth.
Replacing the root of the tooth with titanium rods does not mean you should forgo normal oral hygiene. It is still very important to brush and floss daily, so that your gums and mouth stay healthy. It is advised that you still get regular six-month cleanings, brush after each meal, and rinse with a mouthwash in order to keep your new dental implants looking their best.
The benefits of dental implants are great as an all around replacement for natural teeth. In fact, they are the best option for patients wanting a more secure fitting bite. Dental implants ensure that you will be able to eat regularly again and avoid the fear and embarrassment of denture mishaps, or missing and/or decaying teeth. It is usually a one-time procedure and can provide you long lasting results – often upwards of twenty or thirty years of use. Because of its complexity and durability, it can cost more than bridgework or dentures. We offer financing options for patients that want the strength of implants, but not the upfront cost. Let us help you get your smile back!
Here at Northwest Dental, we know how important it is to find a dentist that you know and trust. Dental surgery can be intimidating, but we hope to provide you information to help ease that fear. We offer free denture consultations, and are always here to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call and schedule an appointment so we can discuss a better smile for you today!
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