Many of us loose teeth for a number of reasons, from accidents to tooth decay. Often we do nothing about this or perhaps we are too embarrassed to see a dentist or tell anyone about it. We may start to cover our mouths when we smile or become low in confidence because of a missing tooth or missing teeth. Food debris can get stuck in the place your tooth used to be and this can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
A person dealing with this will also have bad breath and often suffer from bone loss around the jawline. This can affect the whole look of the face and mouth. So, missing teeth can really affect both your health and your looks in a negative way. There is treatment available that can make your mouth and teeth look like new.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a metal rod, typically made from titanium, which sports a built-in screw equipped to hold a false tooth or teeth (they can support more than one) in place. After the jawbone has fused with the titanium implant, crowns, dentures, and bridges can be added onto the screw to replace any missing teeth. Once in your mouth, they look natural and restore both the jaw and any changes to the face.
How does the process work?
The entire process itself can take quite some time, with the jawbone fusing part taking over several months in itself. This then is not a procedure for the easily impatient – though, in the pursuit of a happy, healthy smile, time is no contest. Your dentist should outline his estimation of how long the process will take before you enter the procedure but try not to be too disheartened if you find that estimate stretching as time goes on. It is, after all, an estimate. Bone can be lost from the jaw around the area of the missing tooth so your dentist will need to make sure that there is still enough bone left to fuse with the dental implant.
The implant procedure involves minor surgery to set in the implant, with the word minor here being stressed as emphatically as possible. This operation is done under a course of local anesthesia and the patient is ensured no pain, other than the usual discomforting, tongue-wagging numbness that is to be expected from local anesthesia. It is strongly suggested that you allow someone else to drive you home afterward.
Though it is rare, your dentist may fix the false teeth onto the implant after the procedure is done. But, this is very rare and you are more likely to need an extensive period of time to allow the mouth to heal. This can be from anywhere from 3 months to 8 so it’s important once again to remember to keep patient. It’ll take a while to get you smiling again, but when it finally happens, what a smile you’ll have.