Before dental implants were widely available, patients had to settle for tooth replacements that were structurally incomplete and often inadequate. Standard fixed dental bridges and dentures would lose their fit as the jawbone slowly eroded. They often required patients to adjust their dietary intake significantly because the appliances were ineffective at chewing some types of food.
Dental implants are a major upgrade for many reasons, including improved functionality and convenience. This treatment does involve a surgical procedure, so it can be helpful to know what to expect if you are considering it.
Dental Implant Technology And Its Benefits
Dental implants are small titanium cylinders that an oral surgeon inserts into a patient’s jaw at the site of a missing tooth. Over the course of several months after placement, the dental implants are osseointegrated into the jaw. That means that the surrounding bone tissue will fuse with the implant and make it a permanent part of the jaw’s structure. As such, dental implants function as artificial tooth roots.
Although we take them for granted, the roots of biological teeth play several important roles in the smile’s stability and its purpose. Roots anchor the jawbone, which wears away in their absence. The connection between an implant and the bone also facilitates chewing motion in the same way a root does. Conventional tooth replacement appliances fall short when it comes to chewing. Implant-supported appliances also feel more lifelike and are more secure because they are structurally complete.
What To Expect From Dental Implant Placement
You will initially consult with your oral surgeon to determine if dental implants are the best choice for your case and to see if you are a good candidate for the procedure. If you have adequate bone at the implant site and the surgeon feels that it is appropriate to move forward with dental implant placement, the appointment will be scheduled.
Dental implant placement is generally completed in a few hours, and most patients will choose sedation for maximum comfort. Unless complications occur, most patients will recover from the procedure in a few days, although the process of osseointegration takes several months to complete. Your surgeon will give you more detailed instructions about caring for the implant site following placement and how to maximize your chances of an uneventful recovery.
Contact our team at Jackson Oral Surgery if you want to learn more about dental implants and how they can benefit you if you need to replace a missing tooth. Schedule a consultation to determine if this treatment might be the best choice for you.