It’s hard to share your smile with the world when you’re worried about the appearance of your teeth. When you have missing, decayed, or loose teeth, you may lack the confidence to put your best face forward. But it’s not just your self-confidence that suffers. Missing or decaying teeth can make it difficult to talk or chew, too.
Missing a tooth is extremely common. More than 178 million American adults have lost a permanent tooth. But thanks to modern dental implant technology, it’s possible to replace missing or compromised teeth in virtually undetectable ways. With dental implants, you won’t just get your smile back—you’ll get your confidence back, as well.
A dental implant is a fabricated tooth that is created to look identical to your actual teeth. Every implant has three components: A titanium screw, an abutment, and a crown.
The titanium screw is the portion of the implant that is physically embedded into your jaw. The screw is inserted into your gum tissue, where it bonds to your jawbone, essentially replacing the roots of the missing tooth. This bond creates an extremely sturdy foundation for your new tooth.
The abutment portion of the implant affixes to the top of the titanium screw, with a nub of metal projecting above the gumline. This nub is what actually attaches to the crown, creating a secure connection while providing the tooth with a great deal of strength.
The crown is the final part of the dental implant. Looking exactly like a real tooth, the crown is attached to the top of the abutment and is adjusted and shaped to fit naturally within your smile. By the time the procedure is done, no one will be able to tell that your implant wasn’t there the whole time.
Dental implants aren’t always for replacing a single tooth. Some patients will require multiple dental implants—perhaps replacing all of their teeth. For patients looking for a permanent solution to replacing lost teeth, dental implants may be an ideal solution.
However, dental implants are not for everyone. The process of installing a dental implant can take several months, involving several alternating periods of surgery and recovery. And because the procedure can be invasive, patients must have a mouth that’s healthy enough to undergo the procedure and also to support the final result.
With the help of your dentist, you will need to meet these minimum requirements:
If you don’t meet all of these requirements, don’t despair. Your dentist can work with you to try to correct any deficiencies. They may treat any existing gum disease or control conditions like diabetes that might compromise your bone growth. If you’re using tobacco, stop!
Taking these considerations seriously will help you to have the best possible outcome from your dental implant. Your dentist wants to fix your smile just as much as you do. That’s why they’ll work with you to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible to get your dental implant.
Getting a dental implant doesn’t happen in a single visit. The procedure will take place over several visits, giving your mouth time to heal between each session. Depending on the scope of the procedure, this timeline can stretch out over several months, which is why it’s important to find a dentist who performs dental implants near you.
Here’s what will happen during those visits:
Before installing anything, your dentist will clear away any remaining tooth material in the space where the implant will be installed.
If your jawbone is not strong enough on its own, your dentist will graft bone onto the area around the implant zone to create a stronger foundation for the screw.
This is the first step in actually installing the implant. Typically, you will need time to heal after this step, allowing the bone to fully bond with the titanium screw.
Once you’ve healed, your dentist will affix the abutment onto the top of the screw.
This is the final step. The crown will be cemented and then shaped and polished to blend in seamlessly with your other teeth.
Your dentist will ensure that you receive the right anesthesia during every step of the procedure to make the process as painless as possible. Afterward, you may experience some swelling, bruising, and minor pain and bleeding, but these side effects are temporary.
With more than 3 million Americans have undergone this procedure, dental implants have a long track record of improving people’s lives.
Here are just a few of the benefits that occur when you get a dental implant:
With proper care, your dental implants should last for the rest of your life, unlike bridges or dentures, which need to be replaced every 10 years or so.
Dental implants are designed to look like real teeth, meaning that no one will notice they aren’t real. Including you! They’re so convincing that many patients report that, after a while, they tend to forget their implants aren’t real teeth!
You may not realize this, but your bones rely on stimulation to remain strong. When you lose teeth, your jawbone can weaken, leading to damage to your cheeks and jaw. Dental implants can help to prevent that damage.
Once you get your implants, you won’t be able to keep yourself from showing off your brilliant new smile.
Contact the team at Greg Campbell, DDS, to learn more about dental implants in Long Beach, CA 90807. Dr. Campbell has been helping patients in the Long Beach area to recover their smiles for years. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Campbell today for a consultation so that you can start the process of getting your smile back!