Dental implants are a safe, medically proven, esthetic alternative to traditional bridgework, partials and dentures. Because implant restorations look and feel more like natural teeth, they offer new levels of comfort, security and confidence over traditional treatments. For more than two decades, dental implants have been helping to provide quality of life to patients with restorative needs.
A dental implant is a small “anchor” made of titanium that is inserted into the jawbone to take the place of a missing tooth root. After osseointegration (when the surrounding bone has healed to the implant), a replacement tooth is secured to the tip of the implant. This new tooth looks, feels and performs similar to natural teeth.
Choosing dental implants as a treatment option can offer a number of significant advantages.
When teeth are missing, the bone begins to shrink over time. Unhealthy bone loss can make the jaw line recede and change the facial structure. Dental implants can help prevent deterioration of the jawbone so the face retains its natural shape.
Keep Healthy Teeth
As a better long-term alternative to bridgework, dental implants eliminate the need to grind down healthy teeth when replacing one or more adjacent teeth. Natural healthy teeth are not compromised.
Securely anchored dental implants do not slip or move. This eliminates some of the key problems of dentures, including poor fit, gum irritation and pain from exposed nerves. The result is superior comfort, reliability, and freedom from embarrassment.
The actual procedure to surgically place a dental implant is done under local anesthesia and is generally not at all painful. When the anesthesia wears off about three or four hours later, some discomfort may be experienced. The level of discomfort is quite different from patient to patient, but most patients do not have significant problems. Some patients do have varying degrees of pain or discomfort which may last for several days. Swelling along with bruising may also develop.
In cases where there is prolonged pain, the dentist should be seen right away. Prolonged pain is not a good sign with dental implants and although it does not always mean failure, the cause of the pain should be determined as soon as possible. If an implant is not properly integrating into the adjacent bone or if an infection develops, the implant may have to be removed.