Dental implants (also commonly referred to as dental posts) are used to replace missing teeth by serving as artificial tooth roots. The implant provides a foundation for either a permanent tooth or to retain removable teeth. The implant is made of titanium, just like artificial hips and knees.
Why are they so popular?
Patients like the idea of not having to do anything to the teeth next to the missing tooth area. They also like that it can be flossed and brushed like a normal tooth. They are also used to help hold removable dentures more tightly to improve speech, comfort, and making it easier to eat.
How do I know if I can get dental implants?
If you have any missing teeth, you are a candidate for implants. Depending on how much bone is available to place the implant will determine if bone must be added before placing the implant. This is assessed with a 3-D Cone Beam CT Scan machine which is available at our office. Health issues including heavy smoking, diabetes, heart disease, and radiation therapy to the head and neck area may impact but not eliminate the option of dental implants.
How long does it take to get an implant and have a tooth?
This depends on the situation of the area. They can typically take 4-6 months from the time of the implant is placed to have a fully accepted implant by your body and a tooth placed on top of it.
Are dental implants painful?
Most patients remark that the placement of dental implants involve much less discomfort than a tooth extraction. Mild soreness after the procedure is common but can be treated with prescription and non-prescription pain medications.