Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Dental implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence. Please call us for a consultation if you are considering getting dental implants in Huntersville, North Carolina.
What are Dental Implants?
The dental implants themselves are tiny titanium posts which are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium which creates a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small abutments are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These abutments provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth. Your general dentist will place the final abutments and make the final crown.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to four months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding (Osseointegrating) with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Haigney will uncover the implants and attach small healing abutments, which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. These abutments protrude through the gums. When the artificial teeth are placed, these abutments will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
Do Implants need special care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.