Dental Implants FAQ
Do you ever hide your smile in public? Do you catch yourself covering your mouth when you laugh? Feeling self-conscious about missing teeth can have lasting consequences on your self-esteem. The good news is that our dental implant dentists in Grand Rapids, MI, offer a variety of to restore your smile. Due to their longevity and natural appearance, dental implants remain a popular choice for patients who have experienced tooth loss.
Here’s what you need to know about the dental implant procedure.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is athat fuses to your jawbone. The implant then later supports an abutment and crown. This gives you the full function and appearance of a natural tooth.
Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants?
You must have enough bone density in your jaw to support dental implants.
It’s also preferred that patients be non-smokers. When you smoke, you inhibit your body’s natural ability to heal itself. This is especially a problem after dental implant surgery when your mouth is healing.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to be a “perfect” candidate to qualify for the dental implant procedure. Each patient is different. Ultimately, you won’t know whether you’re a candidate until you meet with one of our dentists.
What are Some of the Benefits of Dental Implants?
While it may sound counterintuitive, in many ways dental implants are less invasive than other tooth replacement options. This is because we don’t have to alter any of the other teeth in your smile to replace the one you lost.
For example, a dental bridge may be considered more invasive because you have to file down adjacent teeth to accommodate the crowns in the bridge.
Check out the diagram below to see what we’re talking about.
A dental bridge contains a prosthetic tooth anchored on both sides by crowns. These crowns can be placed on either natural teeth or implants.
A dental implant, on the other hand, improves the health of adjacent teeth by preventing bone loss in the jaw.
Here’s what a dental implant looks like.
As you can see, you don’t have to file down adjacent teeth to place a dental implant. This makes the procedure less invasive because it leaves your other teeth intact.
Other benefits of dental implants include being able to smile, eat, talk, and laugh with confidence. Unlike dentures, you won’t have to worry about your prosthetic teeth slipping. Dental implants are rooted in the jawbone, which gives them the ultimate stability. This also means that you can enjoy an unrestricted diet.
Learn More: Dental Implants vs. Dentures →
What Happens During the Procedure?
First, it’s important to understand that the dental implant process takes several months. During your oral surgery, the dental implant will be placed in your jawbone.
Since the implant is made of a titanium alloy, it’s biocompatible and will fuse to your jawbone over several months. This is called osseointegration.
Once the implant is stable and the jawbone has healed, your dentist will place an abutment and crown over top. This will give you the function and appearance of a natural tooth.
How Do I Take Care of Dental Implants?
The best way to take care of your dental implants is to practice good oral hygiene at home. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once daily. That way, you’ll be able to remove plaque and avoid oral health issues.
Also, be sure to continue seeing our dentists at least every 6 months. During your routine visits, we’ll examine the inside of your mouth and take X-rays. We’ll also examine your dental implant crown to ensure it stays in good condition for many years to come.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants can last a lifetime if you practice good oral hygiene. The titanium rod that’s inserted into the jawbone is intended to be long-lasting and permanent. However, please keep in mind that the crown on top may need to be replaced as needed due to normal wear and tear. In general, the average lifespan of a dental crown is between 15 and 20 years.
Request a Consultation With Us
Our dental implant dentists in Grand Rapids, MI, are accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment and learn if you’re a candidate for dental implants, please call Advance Dental at (616) 956-9183. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our office will reach out to you soon.
This blog post has been updated.