What are dental implants?
A dental implant is essentially a replacement for a missing tooth’s root. It is an effective substitute once a tooth has been lost or pulled. They are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible material. An implant looks like a tiny post with threads, similar to a screw. It will be implanted in to the jaw bone via a surgical procedure. Eventually fusing with the surrounding bone, it will serve as the base support for a dental restoration. Multiple dental implants can be placed to support a denture or bridge if the patient is missing several or all of their teeth. A single dental implant is implanted to support a dental crown when a person is only missing one tooth.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Most people will qualify for dental implants. The patient will need to be in good overall and oral health and have adequate bone structure to support an implant. Age is typically not a factor as long as the patient is healthy, although we do not recommend children get implants since they are not done growing. When you schedule a consultation with Dr. Elliott she will look for these key elements necessary for getting dental implants.
Can dentures be replaced by dental implants?
Yes! Many people who have not had success with dentures have chosen to replace them with dental implants. Dentures take a while to get used to and require a lot of extra time consuming care. They force the patient to eat a restricted diet and often slip around in the mouth causing slurred speech. There are several types of denture implants available and it is best to schedule an appointment with Dr. Elliott at her Fallston, MD dentist office to learn which one will work for you.
How many implants will I need?
The number of implants needed depends on the type of dental restoration being secured. For example, if you are missing one tooth, one implant is needed to secure a dental crown. If you have multiple missing teeth, their location will determine the type of restoration you will need a (dental bridge, partial denture or full denture). The number of implants needed to secure one of the following will be determined at your implant consultation. Typically, a bridge will need 2 – 3 implants and a full denture can be secured with 4 – 8 implants.
How long does the process take?
The process to have your implant secured restoration completed can take from four to nine months. If you need any type of treatment first, the process can take much longer. It really depends on the state of your oral health. A majority of this time (about three to six months) is consumed by healing after the implant(s) are surgically placed. During this time, they will fuse with the surrounding bone and the tissues will heal from surgery.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants require a healthy oral environment in order for them to thrive and function properly. This means you should be committed to consistent, good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing and flossing regularly and visiting our Fallston, MD dentist office every six months for a regular dental checkup. With proper care, your implants can last a lifetime.
More Information About Dental Implants