You may not realize it, but estimates suggest that 69 percent of adults have lost at least one tooth. While many people think that it’s not a big deal, just one missing tooth can compromise your oral health and appearance. Alignment problems, bone degeneration, and additional tooth loss are common issues that occur from missing teeth. Dental implants offer solid replacements for lost teeth.
Constructed from biocompatible titanium, dental implants are small posts inserted in to the gums, functioning as the bases for prosthetic teeth. A skilled surgeon will securely place the implants so that these restorations will withstand the rigors of speaking, eating, and daily living. Implants can replace one or missing teeth as well as serve as the anchor for dentures or bridgework.
For optimal results, you need a full evaluation of your oral health. Your dentist will evaluate your whole mouth to make sure you have sufficient bone structure for the implants. If the doctor has concerns, he or she may suggest a bone graft to solidify the supporting structures.
With dental implants, a trained specialist will surgically place the small posts into your jawbone. After surgery, your mouth will heal and the bone will fuse with the posts to create artificial tooth roots, a process called osseointegration. In three to six months, you dentist will permanently attach prosthetic crowns to the implants, giving you a complete, beautiful smile. Care for the implants as you would your natural teeth, which includes brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for regular checkups.