Whereas dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth, implants are surgically implanted into the gums and fuse to the jawbone, forming a natural, permanent replacement for missing teeth.
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth up to an entire set of teeth. As the closest thing to natural teeth, they are often the preferred method of treatment for patients with missing teeth who want to regain a healthy, natural looking smile. So how does the process work?
First, a dentist has to determine if the patient is a good candidate for dental implants. After the initial consultation stage, which may include imaging studies like x-rays and CT scans, the patient will undergo the surgical procedure, which involves fusing the implanted artificial teeth into the jawbone.
It is important the patient have a sufficient base of bone for the implant to fuse properly. Sometimes, an additional procedure is required to expose or add supporting bone. The implants are then secured into the jaw with titanium and the gum is stitched up.
The procedure is typically pain-free, and healing time can be anywhere from two to six months and is similar to the recovery from extraction, involving careful following of good oral hygiene practices, refraining from strenuous activity, and regular dentist visits. There are potential risks and complications, but with careful planning and adhesion to a proper regimen of care, most patients end up delighted with their fully functional replacement teeth.
Dental implants have a success rate of over 98% and continue to be one of the most commonly used and preferred treatments for missing teeth, due to their appearance, stability, functionality, and the overall ease of the procedure.
Importantly, in most cases, insurance does not cover the cost of dental implants. If you think dental implants may be right for you, get in touch with our office today!