What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are quickly becoming a familiar alternative to dentures. Implants are an appliance that is attached to your jaw, under the gum line. Eventually it fuses to your jaw and a dental professional attaches a metal post that performs like a “root” for an artificial tooth, or a bridge of artificial teeth.

More and more people are choosing implants over regular dentures for both cosmetic and functionality reasons. Preferring the look of implants, people also appreciate being getting through life without worrying about inserting, removing, and cleaning their dentures.

Implants also allow patients to enjoy a wider range of foods. Dentures can make it difficult to eat foods that are hard or sticky, but because implants behave like natural teeth, eating is comfortable and enjoyable. Additionally, regular brushing and flossing is all that is needed to are for implants.  Dentures can require special cleaning and care.

Dentures can tend to slip around inside your mouth, which is not just uncomfortable, but can be inconvenient, and can also impact speech over time. As the jaw bone and gums decrease in size over time, dentures that fit before begin to move around more frequently. This can also cause the formation of sores and irritation.

Dental implants are usually made of titanium, and have been for decades with good results. The post (or abutment) holding the new tooth in place is typically made out of titanium as well. However, some dentists use ceramic abutments.

The new tooth, or crown, can be made from several different materials. Crowns at the front of the mouth are often made from ceramic or porcelain because they are the most natural looking and can be tinted to match the rest of your teeth. Sometimes a dentist may recommend using metal crowns for back molars that aren’t easily seen.  Metals are typically tougher than ceramics or porcelain and may be a good choice for those who are at risk of damaging their implants.

Getting dental implants is a multi-step process that can take months. Once you and your American Dental Group professional have established that you are a candidate for implants, you will be scheduled for having an implant inserted. This may also involve an extraction of the damaged tooth that will be replaced.

Once the implant is in place, your jaw and surrounding tissues need time to heal which can take from six to 12 weeks. Your dentist, oral surgeon, or periodontitis will make sure the site has healed properly in order to attach the new tooth.

The implant procedure is generally done under local anesthetic and you may need an over-the-counter painkiller to help with any discomfort after the procedure. Your dental professional will make sure you have instructions for at-home aftercare, including when you should seek advice due to bleeding, uncontrolled pain, or signs of infection.

Choosing dental implants instead of dentures means opting for comfort and convenience. With good care and regular checkups, implants can last for the rest of your life, and the crowns can last anywhere from 10-15 years. To get started, talk to an American Dental Group professional and find out if you’re a good candidate for implants.

American Dental Group member’s receive up to 20 percent of implants at our network of providers.

For more information about the many benefits of a membership with American Dental Group, call now. 800-633-3010

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