People who are self-conscious about missing teeth, or who wear dentures that are uncomfortable, should talk to the dentist about dental implants. Implants are an effective way to replace missing teeth because they are permanent and designed to blend in with your other teeth. The development and use of implants is one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years.
What are implants made of and where do they typically go in the mouth?
Implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth. Titanium is used because bone actually fuses to the metal, resulting in stability and security.
What are some of the advantages of dental implants?
Improved speech compared with poor-fitting dentures that can slip and cause mumbling or slurring.
Improved comfort because they eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
Easier eating compared with sliding dentures that can make chewing difficult.
Convenience because there is no need for denture adhesives or other denture maintenance. You can take care of implants the same way you take care of your other teeth.
What are the steps involved with getting a dental implant?
There are usually three steps to placing a dental implant.
First, the dentist surgically places the an implant post into the jawbone.
Then there is a waiting period up to several months while the post fuses with the bone, a process called osseointegration.
The last step is placement of a new tooth on the post. The dentist will customize the tooth, called a dental crown, which will match the size and color of your other teeth. Sometimes the dentist will place a temporary crown until the replacement tooth is ready.
What’s the level of discomfort for a typical patient receiving a dental implant?
Most people who have received implants say there was very little discomfort during the procedure. A local anesthetic is used, and most patients say there is less pain than a tooth extraction. Soreness after the procedure can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications.
What should I do if I’m interested in getting a dental implant with Bridgton Dental Associates?
If you’re interested in dental implants, please talk with us. If you are in good general health, no matter what your age, implants may be right for you. Patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes or leukemia, which might interfere with healing, may not be good candidates.
How much would a dental implant cost me?
Currently, most dental insurances do not cover the cost of dental implants.