Dental Implants: Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants

Dental Implants Drawing

Dental implants are the best possible treatment option when it comes to replacing missing teeth. At some point in their lives, most people need a tooth replacement. There are a few different options on the market that you can choose from. However, dental implants are the only option that look, feel, and function like a natural tooth.

The Bethesda Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Bethesda, Maryland helps patients of all ages replace missing teeth. A tooth can be lost for a number of reasons including decay, injury, or trauma. Dental implants are a long term solution to replace missing teeth. It is the most natural looking and long lasting tooth replacement options.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants replace both the missing root and crown of a tooth. They are considered the best option available because other options only replace the crown of a tooth. Dental implants are made of three key components. The first is a titanium post that acts as the root of the tooth. The second component is called the abutment. The abutment connects the replacement crown to the dental implant post. The third component is the crown itself. The crown is the replacement tooth that is custom made just for you, to match your natural teeth.

The titanium post is inserted directly into your jawbone. Your jawbone will fuse with the post, securing it much like a natural tooth. After your jawbone has had time to heal and fuse to the dental implants, the abutments will be placed. Your gum tissue will then be allowed to heal around the abutments before the crowns are connected to the titanium posts.

Dental implants look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. They allow you to eat normally and maintain your unique smile without the worry of becoming dislodged at any specific time. They also stimulate the jawbone much like a natural tooth. This stimulation prevents the jawbone from breaking down.

There are two primary types of dental implants. The most popular option is referred to as endosteal dental implants. These are the implants described above that are placed directly into the jawbone. The second type of dental implants is known as subperiosteal dental implants. These implants are still placed below the gum tissue but they are seated on or above your jawbone. Subperiosteal implants are most often used for patients who have a shallow jawbone that will be unable to support the implants.

The Process of Getting Dental Implants

If you think that you may be able to benefit from dental implants you’ll want to set up an appointment with your dentist. They’ll be able to fit you with a dental implant that matches your natural teeth. Once the implant is placed, it will look and function just as your natural teeth do. It also requires the same level of care.

Your dentist will establish that you are a good candidate for dental implants. If not, they may suggest alternative replacement options. If you are a good candidate then they will begin the process of fitting you for a dental implant.

The process of getting a dental implant typically takes several weeks. It can take several weeks for the implant to fuse with your jawbone. Your doctor will set up appointments to track the progress made by your jawbone. Once they are comfortable with the level of fusion they will then attach the abutment. Some dentists allow the gum tissue around the abutment to heal prior to attaching the crown, while others prefer to combine these two steps.

Dental implants are a great option for anyone who is missing one or more teeth. In order to be a candidate for dental implants your jaw must be fully mature and in good health. Some medical conditions can cause complications with a dental implant. Lifestyle choices, such as smoking, can also impact the success of a dental implant.

Caring for Your Dental Implants

Caring for your dental implant is very similar to caring for your natural teeth. You’ll still want to brush after meals, at least twice a day. Flossing once a day is also very important to maintaining good oral hygiene. You’ll also need to stay current with your six month check-ups. This allows your dentist to keep an eye on your natural teeth as well as your dental implant. They are able to spot potential signs of implant failure before you may notice them. This could save your implant and surrounding teeth.

By exercising proper care in relation to your dental implants you can ensure that they last several years to come. Many people have dental implants for the remainder of their life. If a dental implant is properly placed and cared for then the odds that it will need to be replaced later on are very slim.

If you have any questions about dental implants, please call Bethesda Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Bethesda, Maryland at (301) 530-3600.