If you have missing teeth or currently wear dentures, you may be interested to learn more about dental implants and how they could change your daily life – both physically and emotionally.
What are they?
- Dental implants have been around since the Ancient Mayans who used tooth shape pieces of shells implanted into the gums.
- They are used in place of natural teeth root and are generally made from strong materials such as titanium, which do not decay.
- Dental implants can be implanted into the upper or lower jaws or both. They can be used to replace a single or multiple teeth as well as being able to support partial and full dentures.
How do they work?
Imagine a dental implant as an anchor. They act as an artificial tooth root – attached to the jaw bone and the gum tissue. The implant is placed into bone and heals around it so it really does become part of your body.
The way that dental implants act as an artificial tooth root means that you can often expect to regain the strength of natural teeth – this is in comparison with dentures which provide between 25-50% of the power of natural teeth.
Dental implants can be used with crowns and bridges as well as dentures. One of the key benefits of dental implants is that they actually stimulate bone growth meaning that they can increase your jaw strength.
How long do they take?
Correctly fitting dental implants should be seen as an investment in your health and your future smile. It can take up to 6 months to fit a dental implant properly.
The process for fitting dental implants will include:
- A consultation with your dentist to discuss the best dental implant options for you
- An appointment to fit the dental implant
- Time for the dental implant to fuse with the jaw bone
- An appointment for the dentist to attach a post to the implant
- Time for the gum tissue to heal around the post
- An appointment to create a crown attached to the implant post to fix it securely
Rest assured that the time you invest in dental implants will pay off.
When properly maintained and cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime.