Missing teeth can make you feel self-conscious when eating, talking or smiling, and can also create oral health problems. But today, a natural tooth implant procedure can give you a replacement tooth that looks, feels and functions like the original. Following is some information to help you decide if a dental implant is right for you.
What Is a Natural Tooth Implant?
An implant is an artificial tooth “root“ that is surgically inserted in your mouth. Made of metallic and bone-like ceramic materials that are compatible with your jaw, implants fuse with your bone to support a crown, bridge or full denture.
Advantages of Natural Tooth Implants
Because of their numerous advantages, the American Dental Association reports that more than 5.5 million implants are fulfilled annually by dentists in the U.S. Some of their popularity is because:
They don’t slip or shift, providing you with the same stability and security as your natural teeth;
They are cleaned in the same way as your natural teeth, so there’s no need to take them out at night for cleaning or soaking;
Implants don’t rely on adjacent teeth for support; therefore, no tooth structure is lost, as is necessary when manufacturing a bridge;
They prevent the shifting of nearby teeth, preserving jawbone and the shape of your face;
Implants are an ideal cosmetic solution to missing teeth, allowing you to chew and speak with ease.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Natural Tooth Implant?
If your gums are healthy, you have enough bone to support an implant and you’re in good general health, you are an ideal candidate for a dental implant. Your jawbone can be built up prior to the dental implant procedure if your bone height is not adequate to support an implant.
Placing Your Natural Tooth Implant
Placing a dental implant in your jaw is an in-office procedure performed under local anesthesia. Following the procedure, you may experience some swelling and pain, but prescription pain medication can always relieve any discomfort.
During the healing process, stick to a diet of soft, cold food and lukewarm soups.Your dentist will wait two to six months before placing the artificial tooth or crown on top of the implant. In the meantime, however, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture to help with chewing and speaking.
Caring for Your Natural Tooth Implant
Your implants can last a lifetime if you follow through with regular dental visits, professional cleanings, and good oral hygiene practices. Be sure to brush at least twice a day and floss daily, carefully cleaning around your implants to keep the gum tissue healthy.
Deciding on a dental implant procedure is a big step that requires sufficient discussion with the dental professional who will place the implant. If you would like to know if you are a candidate for a natural tooth implant, we’re happy to help. Call today to schedule a consultation and together we’ll determine if the procedure is a good option for you.