Widely recognized as the best replacement for missing teeth, dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth. Not only do they strengthen your jawbone and bring wholeness to the health of your mouth, they boost your confidence by completely restoring your smile.
The Three Parts of a Dental Implant
A dental implant has three parts: a titanium post, an abutment and a crown. The post is placed within the jaw and fuses with the bone, a process called osseointegration. Once fusion is complete, the abutment is placed inside the post which connects to the crown, the visible part of the implant. The crown perfectly mimics your real teeth in texture and color.
Why should I get a dental implant?
Unlike other restorative options, an implant is the most long-lasting solution, prevents jawbone loss, does not damage the surrounding teeth and cannot fall out. In the long run, it is also the most cost effect solution, as bridges and dentures normally need to be replaced much more often.
There are three to four phases in the dental implant process, and the total time spent from the initial consultation to the placement of the final crown usually ranges from 5 to 8 months, depending on your specific needs and recovery time:
- Consultation: For your consultation, we review your medical and dental history, evaluate your jawbone density, and if applicable, determine if the damaged tooth needs extracting. We then discuss your treatment and budget options to tailor your care to your individual needs.
- Bone Graft (if needed): If you lack the necessary bone density to support an implant, you will need a bone graft, a procedure that patients who have been missing a tooth for more than a month usually require. Healing time for this phase can last from 3 to 6 months.
- Post Placement: Placement of the post (implant surgery) only takes 1-2 hours.
Healing time for this phase takes an additional 3 to 6 months.
- Final Placement for Abutment and Crown: Once your jaw is completely healed, the abutment is placed. Two weeks later, the crown is cemented snugly on top of the abutment.
Do dental implants last forever?
Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Treat them as you do your normal teeth, by brushing twice and flossing once a day.
Do dental implants hurt?
Implant surgery is actually less painful than getting a tooth extracted. The bone where the implant is placed does not have many pain sensing nerves, and we ensure patient comfort by offering multiple sedation options for surgery. Any discomfort you experience after surgery can be easily managed by over-the-counter medications.
Do dental implants fail?
It is very rare for dental implants to fail, and the common causes (infection and bone loss) are the most preventable. Thanks to today’s technology and the expertise of Dr. Cooper-Newland, there are treatment options for failed implants.
Will I miss work for implant surgery?
Most likely, you will only miss one day of work (or the day of your procedure). Patients are usually able to return to work the day after their surgery, and they experience minimal discomfort.