Many people are deciding upon dental implants today. Implants provide the stability and structure of living teeth, unlike conventional dentures or bridges. There is no adjustment period to implants, as there is with dental prostheses like dentures.
Am I a candidate for implants?
This is the first question to address. A cosmetic dentist will perform an x-ray to determine whether there is enough bone mass in your jaw to hold the implant posts firmly. This is called the osseointegration factor. Bone mass and general health conditions will be considered in view of successful implants.
How are implants performed?
A three-step process is involved in placing the implants. A number of staff work as a team to perform each step.
First, oral surgery buries the implant beneath the gum, flush with the bone. The positioning encourages the bone to bond with the implant. A healing process is necessary at this juncture, lasting from two to six months.
After the healing period, the cosmetic dentist will check the post for proper bone integration and, if satisfactory, will attach an abutment to the post. The gum is then allowed time to heal around this abutment.
Research has indicated that an abutment may be safely attached at the time of implantation in some circumstances, avoiding this second step.
Finally, after the implants have healed and been strength-tested, the new teeth are made and attached to the implants.
Is this procedure painful?
The surgery itself is not painful, because anesthetics are used. Sedatives are considered for anxiety. A patient will have some pain or discomfort after the anesthetic wears off, but most people are surprised at the ease of recovery. A majority of people report that they are very satisfied with their outcomes and their new smiles!
How successful is implant surgery?
Like most surgical procedures, implants do not have a 100 percent success rate. Implant procedures have been around for decades, and improvements are constantly being made. Long-term success rates and satisfaction are well above 90 percent for most patient candidates.
Please call us and ask about dental implants today!