Dental implants represent the most high-tech solution for replacement of one or more missing teeth. They are as close as modern dentistry can get to giving you brand new teeth.
Basically, a dental implant is an artificial tooth that is surgically “implanted” into your jaw bone. For people who are missing teeth and don’t want a denture, dental implants can be a terrific alternative.
However, not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental implants. At Westridge Dental we assess each case individually to determine the best treatment.
What is a dental implant?
It’s an artificial tooth made of a titanium root (post) and custom-made crown – the white part of your tooth. Artificial teeth are designed to look like your own and work with the mechanical function of your mouth.
The advantages are that, unlike dentures, they won’t fall out of your mouth.
What’s involved in getting dental implants?
Let’s be honest, dental implants are not a quick fix. They take months to complete and they do require the patient to be fastidiously compliant in oral hygiene. Dental implants can also be expensive because they involve surgery in a hospital. So if you want to have implants, you need to understand what is involved and make a commitment to work through the process.
The first step is surgically “implanting” the post into the jawbone and leaving it to fuse with the natural bone so that there is a strong foundation for the new tooth. The healing process will vary from person to person but it can take up to six months.
Once the “root” is healed and fused in place, the next step is to place the new tooth or crown in place.
After that, patients need to maintain care of their gums and have regular check-ups to make sure their new teeth stay in good shape. Crowns may need to be replaced after ten to fifteen years depending on wear and tear but the titanium post should be able to stay in place for around 20 years.