What Are Dental Implants?
Your teeth play a much bigger role in your self-confidence and happiness than you may realize. A big, beautiful, complete smile can speak so much about a person. However, if an individual has suffered from tooth loss, their quality of life may become impaired. They may find themselves shying away from not only interpersonal relationships; their favorite foods may also no longer be enjoyed due to pain and discomfort in their mouth. While there are many different types of dental restoration options available to today’s patients, we here at Manhattan Maxillofacial Surgery Group have seen the completely transformative effects of dental implants on our patients’ lives.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a permanent restoration option that closely resembles a natural tooth. It is durable and reliable and can last a patient their entire life.
Dental implants have three main parts. The first piece of the implant is the titanium post. Titanium is used because the body accepts this metal, and bone starts to build up over it. This is called “osseointegration” and is essential to the success of the implant. The post is then attached to the abutment, which then is attached to the restoration. The restoration is also called the “crown” and is the part of the implant that resembles the tooth. Porcelain is a great option for the crown, as it is strong and can mimic a real tooth in appearance. There are several restorative implant solutions available depending on the number of teeth that need replaced.
How is a Dental Implant Placed?
Getting a dental implant does require surgery. To place a dental implant, we will start by making an incision in the patient’s gums. This will expose the bone and the site where we will place the implant. The implant is then placed into the jawbone. The gums are sutured shut and allowed to heal. The healing process can take up to six months. Once the site is fully healed, the dental restoration will then be placed, therefore finalizing the procedure.
Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
A patient who is a good candidate for a dental implant is one who is in good oral health. They must be free from infection or gum disease. If it is determined that the patient is not in good oral health, we may need to treat the disease before we can proceed with the implant.
The patient also needs to have adequate bone mass in their jaw to help support the dental implant. Insufficient bone mass may not automatically be a disqualifier, however. Some patients may benefit from a bone graft. We do not recommend dental implants to patients who are pregnant or lactating. If a patient uses tobacco products (such as cigarettes), we strongly advise that they quit. The use of tobacco has been demonstrated to increase a patient’s risk of implant failure.
Dental implants can restore not only your beautiful smile; they can also return your quality of life to you. To learn more about dental implants, or to set up an appointment with us here at Manhattan Maxillofacial Surgery Group to determine if you may be a good candidate for them, please give us a call today at today!