What Is A Dental Implant?
Paradise Valley, AZ
If you have ever considered receiving a tooth replacement for your missing teeth, then you have probably come across several different solutions to your predicament. Dentures, partial and full, and dental bridges are affordable and common solutions that many people choose to receive. While they are reliable solutions for many people, especially if you have very few teeth remaining—in which case dentures may be your best solution—dental implants in Paradise Valley are currently the most widely selected procedure for patients who are missing one or only a few teeth.
With tooth loss being widespread, you likely know someone who has had a dental implant without even realizing it or being able to spot it. This makes the procedure very advantageous if you wish to remain discreet about your teeth replacements. If you would like to know more about dental implants and whether they might be a great solution for your specific circumstances, Dr. Moyer can answer any questions you might have about the procedure and its benefits versus the alternatives here at David R. Moyer, DDS.
Why You Should Consider a Dental Implant
According to the Food and Drug Administration, when you lose a tooth due to an injury or decay, if left untreated, you may experience bone loss, trouble with speech, and changes to your chewing pattern that cause discomfort or pain. Under such circumstances, replacing any missing teeth will not only prevent such discomfort from occurring, but it would also improve your ability to perform everyday activities such as eating or speaking compared to leaving your missing teeth untreated. This will not only improve your self-confidence but also will lead to a more functional lifestyle and prevent further decay from occurring to your jawbone and remaining teeth.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
If you have decided to receive a dental implant, an oral surgeon will surgically place a titanium screw directly into your jawbone, replacing the natural roots. The screw will, over time, fuse with the jawbone, creating a durable foundation for an artificial tooth (called a crown) to be placed atop it. The combination simulates the look, feel, and purpose of your natural teeth while looking indistinguishable to others. Such an implant is called an endosteal implant and is used most often when sufficient bone and neighboring teeth are remaining in the region.
The second type of implant, called a subperiosteal implant, is used when a patient does not have enough bone or teeth left to place the implant, and it involves a metal frame that is placed below the gums instead. Once the gum tissue has healed, metal posts will be attached to the metal frame that will protrude through the gums, forming a foundation to place a crown.
What Do Implants Consist Of?
The basic structure of a dental implant is the implant itself, made from titanium and shaped into the screw, which is placed onto the jawbone. Following this is the abutment, which is made from titanium, gold, or porcelain and is attached to the implant. This piece then connects the implant to the crown, an artificial tooth made from porcelain and made to match your other teeth.
How Long Will It Take?
Typically, a surgeon can immediately place an implant after the roots or any decayed teeth have been extracted, and implant placement itself may only take one to two hours, in the case of a single tooth. But if bone grafting is necessary, some surgeons may be able to complete it at the time of placing the implant, though you may be asked to wait three to four months after the graft has healed before an implant can be placed.
Generally, the healing process following the surgery can take anywhere from two to four months; however, please remember that each case is different, and results will vary from patient to patient. Furthermore, a second step following the initial surgery may sometimes be necessary. Some implant systems require an extension to be attached to the initial implant following the surgery, but this will vary depending on the implant system, as some come with an extension attached to the initial implant.
What To Expect Before The Implant
In the months before the implant, you will be advised by a dentist on whether you require bone grafting or not. In the case that you do, an oral surgeon will complete the graft before the implant surgery, ensuring there is enough time for your jawbone to heal before placing an implant. In the weeks before the implant surgery, it is advisable to stop smoking, although instructions may vary from patient to patient. Additionally, in the days leading to the implant placement, you may be prescribed antibiotics to take and may be asked to limit your diet to prepare for the surgery. Finally, in the hours just before the surgery, you may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking, including water, several hours before it is to begin.
What To Expect Following The Implant
The healing process can take several months as the implant slowly fuses with your jawbone. Directly after the implant placement, you should avoid strenuous activity for several days. Your diet should also only consist of liquids and foods suggested by a member of our team. You may also be advised to avoid anything that requires sucking through a straw as it could dislodge the blood clot over your implant. Though you may gradually return to a regular diet, you should continue to avoid sticky, hard, or crunchy foods until advised otherwise by a member of our team.
Furthermore, you will be provided with guidelines on how to keep your mouth clean without disturbing the implants. You should also continue to avoid smoking and take any antibiotics that may be prescribed to you. There will also be several follow-up visits to examine the implant and ensure it is healing correctly.
Schedule A Consultation For Dental Implants in Paradise Valley, AZ
If you are around Paradise Valley, AZ and missing any teeth and are seeking a corrective solution that is long-lasting and feels just like your natural teeth, then dental implants may be for you. At David R. Moyer, DDS we will answer any questions you have about the procedure and healing process. If you would like to speak with a member of our team to schedule an appointment or to make an inquiry, we are available over the phone at 480.935.6295.