Guide to Dental Implants

Not so long ago, people who were missing a tooth or teeth had to rely on dentures to fill in the gap. The trouble with dentures is that the removable type could easily slip or make odd noises. A bridge, on the other hand, could actually trigger problems in the adjacent teeth. In recent years, dental implants have become the standard for replacing missing or severely damaged teeth.

Dental Implant

An implant is an artificial tooth that is permanently installed into the mouth and jaw. It does not need to be removed, and will not affect the integrity of other teeth. While the dental implants procedure is not a simple one, the long-term benefits can be significant.

If you're interested in having dental implants, it is a good idea to speak with your dentist. He or she can perform an examination to determine whether you are a good candidate for this procedure. Once you are cleared, you should be prepared to undergo multiple procedures over a period of several months.

The first part of the process will be the insertion of an implant cylinder into your jaw. This takes some time to heal, and the length of time varies from person to person. After this, a connector, often called an abutment, will be placed on top of the cylinder. Eventually, a crown will be placed on top of the abutment creating a natural look.

As with any procedure, there are some dental implant risks, though these are minimal. There is of course, the risk of infection but this can be minimized by working with a reputable dentist who adheres to strict sanitary procedures. There is also a possible risk of bone or nerve damage as well as a bad reaction to prescribed medications, such as painkillers or anesthesia. However, such situations are quite rare.

One final note: While most implant procedures are done under local anesthesia, if you have a fear of dentists or must take a sedative, make arrangements to have someone drive you to and from your dental appointment.

If you are local to the area, start with our Dentist and Dental Directory to find the right dentist for your dental needs.