What are dental implants?
A dental implant is essentially a replacement for a missing tooth’s root. It is an effective substitute once you lose a tooth or when a dentist pulls one. They are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible material. An implant looks like a tiny post with threads, similar to a screw. A dentist will place it into the jaw bone via a surgical procedure.
Eventually fusing with the surrounding bone, it will serve as the base support for a dental restoration. The dentist can place multiple dental implants to support a denture or bridge if the patient is missing several or all of their teeth. They will place a single dental implant 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 must 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. When you schedule a consultation we will look for these key elements necessary for getting dental implants.
Can I replace my denture with 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 our Fallston, MD, dentist’s office to learn which one will work for you.
How many implants will I need?
The number of implants you need will depend on the type of dental restoration you need. For example, if you are missing one tooth, you only need one implant to secure a dental crown. If you have multiple missing teeth, their location will determine the type of restoration you will need (dental bridge, partial denture, or full denture).
The dentist will determine the number of implants you need to secure 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. Most 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 must be consistent with your 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.