Every year, millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss. Whether caused by injury, disease or decay, tooth loss can be painful, both physically and emotionally. Until recently, bridges and dentures were the only options for treating tooth loss, but neither was an optimal long-term solution. Now, with dental implants widely available, lost teeth can be replaced in a more comfortable, attractive and healthy manner.
In this two-part blog series, we will discuss implant dentistry in detail, including their advantages and disadvantages, the process of receiving implants, how to care for them and more.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are permanently implanted into the jaw in order to support a crown, bridge or full arch denture. Implants can significantly improve quality of life for those who suffer from tooth loss. They improve appearance, confidence and comfort, and help to distribute and restore chewing forces, allowing for easier chewing. In addition, implants can prevent further pain and injury by minimizing jawbone erosion that occurs when teeth are missing.
What is involved in a dental implant procedure?
The dental implant process varies considerably among patients, depending on the degree of tooth loss, overall oral health and the specific implant being performed. In some instances, the implant can be placed at the time the tooth is extracted. The surgeon and general dentist at Glen Oaks Dental will work with you to develop a treatment plant that works best for you.
Generally, the tooth root implant is first placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. Then, there is a healing period of about three to four months, as the jawbone heals and integrates with the implant. When the implant has firmly anchored to the bone, a small connector post, which will hold the prosthetic tooth or bridge, is attached to the dental implant.
Once the implant has integrated with the jawbone, it is ready to be restored with the final prosthesis.
Are dental implants painful?
Placement of the dental implant is relatively painless. We find that, in most cases, over-the-counter pain medication is sufficient to keep patients comfortable after surgery.
We will continue to discuss dental implants in our next blog post. In the meantime, if you have questions about implant dentistry or any of our other services, contact our Circle Pines dental clinic at 763-786-8460 or schedule an appointment on our website.