Dental implants are posts, or anchors, that are surgically implanted into the jawbone and fulfil the role that the root did in the original teeth. Once the dental implants are in place, false teeth are attached to them.
Dental implants are expensive and involve considerable work but provide an incredibly stable and strong base for false teeth which means they won't wobble or shift in the mouth, providing the most natural feel possible. The caveat to this is that the cost of dental implants is quite high and insurance companies may not provide cover for this. They also require the jawbone and gums to be in good enough condition for the implants to fuse.
What is the Dental Implant Procedure?
The dental implant procedure can be time consuming depending on the amount of implants and preparatory work that's required. In the majority of cases, the process is carried out under local anesthetic.
There are two types of dental implant surgery that are considered safe by the American Dental Association
Subperiosteal Implants: These dental implants are made up of a metal frame that's attached to the jawbone below the gumline. The process of the gums healing anchors the frame in place. Once it's healed, posts are then attached to the frame and following that, the artificial teeth.
Endosteal Implants: This dental implant surgery consists of the metal implants, and then the posts being inserted and attached directly to the jawbone in two separate surgeries. Once these have healed, the tooth implant is mounted. Both of these dental implant procedures can take anywhere between 3 and 6 months to complete, depending on the individual.
How Do You Look After Dental Implants?
Your dentist will explain your dental implant care plan but fundamentally it is the same as looking after natural teeth. This includes brushing and flossing at least twice a day, using mouthwash and generally having a good oral care routine. Smoking and excessive consumption of sugary drinks can damage the teeth and gums especially.
People with dental implants may have to visit the dentist more often in order to keep them clean and healthy. Regular trips to the hygienist are recommended. Some people also have special toothbrushes specifically designed for dental implants.