Dental implants are small titanium posts that are inserted into the jawbone to replace the roots of missing teeth. During this minimal surgical procedure, a lifelike porcelain tooth crown is attached to the implant for a flawless look. The implant can take several months to permanently fuse with the bone, but in some cases, patients can leave with new (but temporary) teeth the same day.
Implants can replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or a mouthful of teeth. Plus, one implant does not have to equal one tooth. Depending on placement, two implants could support a removable lower denture while as few as four implants can support a permanent set of top or bottom teeth.
Most individuals find that dental implants are easy to tolerate, and any postoperative discomfort is typically managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. Ice is also helpful to relieve discomfort.
The upfront cost of dental implants is more than other tooth replacement methods. However, implants typically last many years longer than alternatives and never need to be replaced. When viewed as a long-term investment in your health, they are a cost-effective option.
Care for your dental implants the exact same way that you would for your natural teeth. Although the implants will never decay, the surrounding gum tissue can become inflamed or infected without proper oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and scheduling regular dental checkups will ensure that your implants last a lifetime.
Because implants do not contain any living cells of genetically coded material, they cannot be rejected. While rare complications can arise from titanium allergies and a failure to integrate with the jaw bone, dental implants have a success rate above 95%.
Many individuals are strong candidates for dental implants, but this can only be determined after a complete oral examination that includes x-rays of the jaw.