Have you ever had a dream where everything seems completely normal, but suddenly you realize your teeth are starting to fall out? This can be a recurring nightmare for many people, and one most of us would hope never to recreate in our waking lives. Unfortunately for some of us however, tooth loss may be a reality at some point in our adult lives. It can happen as a result of decay and gum disease, or simply from an accident. While losing a tooth or many teeth will never be ideal, thankfully science has advanced to the point where fake teeth can easily replace their natural counterpart! Dental implants are paving the way for people who have lost teeth to resume life as normal, with a smile indistinguishable from the one they’ve always had. Continue reading to learn more about dental implants and how they work!
They’re a permanent fixture!
Dental implants are surgically fitted into your mouth by placing a titanium rod into your jaw bone, beneath the gumline. This serves as a base for a crown to eventually be fitted into the empty space. Before the rod can be fitted in the jaw, however, there must be enough strong bone for the rod to be placed. In some cases, a bone graft or sinus lift may be needed to create a more stable surface for the implant to fit into. It is also important that the mouth and gums are overall healthy before any procedures can begin.
What are the components of the implant?
First and foremost, a titanium rod must be surgically fitted into the upper or lower jawbone to act as the anchor for the new tooth. Next, an abutment—made of titanium, gold, or porcelain—is screwed into the titanium rod to serve as a foundation for the crown. Finally, the restoration or crown is screwed or cemented to the abutment. The crown will likely be made of porcelain fused to a metal alloy and will look very much like a natural tooth.
How long is it going to take?
The downside to dental implants is that the process of having them fitted can often take months, if not more than a year. Because it is a surgical process that requires healthy bones and many steps, it often takes at minimum five months for implants in the lower jaw and six months for implants in the upper jaw. If bone needs to be built up before the titanium rods can be placed, the process will take longer. Some advancements in technique and process have recently been made, however, and in some cases a dentist may be able to do every phase of the implant in a single visit! Every situation will be unique and your dentist will go over your specific requirements with you to help make a timeline suited to your situation.
Dental implants are one of many ways modern dentistry is helping keep people healthy and confident!
If you are missing teeth and think dental implants could be a good fit for you, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with your dentist, give us a call at TruBlu Dentistry in Burbank, Chicago, or Hegewisch to learn more today!