Implants are to replace missing teeth. An implant consists of one or more artificial metal ‘roots’ in your jawbone and artificial teeth. They look, feel and perform just like natural teeth.
What to Expect
The implant is placed into the jawbone at the time of a natural tooth extraction or anytime later. Local anesthetic will be used to allow the procedure to be pain free, and sedation is also available. You will be given pain medication and antibiotics, as well as a chlorhexiadine rinse to be used. There may be a metal healing abutment (looks like a small metal dome) covering the implant during integration (attachment) with your jawbone. After the initial surgery, it will take 4-6 months for the bone in your jaw to grow and fuse to the implant, during which time you may have a temporary tooth. Once the gum has healed a final impression will be taken and sent to a lab where the final replacement tooth will be made and attached to the implant.
Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits. The dentist will check that your bite is right and the implant is not loose. It is important to take very good care of the implants so that they do not fail, allowing you to enjoy the benefits for a long time. This is accomplished by following cleaning instructions given by the dentist and hygienist, using special dental brushes, and attending regular cleaning appointments. Implants allow you to chew properly, take the strain off of other teeth and can be used to improve your smile’s appearance.