What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a durable and attractive option for replacing missing teeth. A dental implant consists of a titanium “root” that is implanted into your jaw bone and a dental crown that serves as a functional false tooth.
What are some benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants are often the preferred option for replacing missing teeth, because they offer a number of benefits over other alternative treatments. Dental implants:
- Appear and function more like your natural teeth
- Last longer than dentures or bridges
- Allow you to eat and speak normally
- Will not slip or make embarrassing clicking sounds like dentures
- Require no modification to your adjacent teeth
- Can be cleaned the same way as your normal teeth
- Are more comfortable than dental bridges or dentures
- Can help prevent adjacent teeth from shifting to fill empty space
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
Most teenagers and adults are good candidates for dental implants. The main prerequisite is that you have sufficient jaw bone mass to properly fuse with the implant. If you do not, you can undergo a bone grafting procedure. Ideal dental implant candidates are missing one or more teeth, are in good overall health and do not have any health conditions that may hinder bone healing.
What is the dental implant process?
First, a small hole will be drilled in your jawbone and the titanium root will be surgically implanted. You must then wait several months for your jaw bone to grow around the implant to hold it in place, a process called osseointegration. After osseointegration is complete, a dental implant crown will be attached to the end of your implant.
What is the recovery period like?
As with any surgical procedure, recovery from dental implant surgery depends largely on the individual. Many patients experience only minor discomfort after the implant root is placed and are able to return to work within a day or two. The process for osseointegration itself may take up to six months. Discomfort during the recovery period can typically be controlled with over-the-counter painkillers.
If you would like to learn more about dental implants, please contact Columbus, Ohio, cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Firouzian at the Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.