Dental implants are metal posts surgically “planted” into your jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, they allow your Salt River Dentist to affix replacement teeth onto them.
Dental implants work well because they are fused to your jawbone, thus provide stable support for artificial teeth. They allow artificial teeth to fit securely and help dentures and bridges — as well as individual crowns placed over implants — feel more natural than conventional bridges or dentures.
For some, regular bridges and dentures are simply not comfortable or, for various reasons, even possible. Additionally, ordinary bridges are attached to teeth on either side of the space left by the missing tooth. Implants need no attachments to adjacent teeth so it’s not required to have other teeth ground down to hold your new replacement tooth/teeth in place.
In order to qualify for implants, you must have healthy gums and sufficient bone in your jaw to support the implant. You must also keep these structures healthy. Oral hygiene and regular dental visits are essential to the long-term success of dental implants.
The process for receiving dental implants is usually an outpatient surgery requiring the following steps:
- Your damaged tooth is removed
- Your jawbone is prepared for surgery, a process that may involve bone grafting
- After your jawbone is healed, dental implant metal posts are placed in your jawbone
Depending on how much work is required and how many teeth are replaced, the entire surgical process can take up to a year from start to finish.
Once these steps are completed, your Salt River Oral Surgeon can attach a crown, crafted to look like a natural tooth, to the implant. Now you have a new tooth permanently attached that looks just like your other natural teeth. And studies indicate that implants can last up to 25 years!