No one wants to lose teeth. We do our best to keep our natural teeth by tending to good, daily oral care. However, there are times when even the best oral care cannot prevent tooth loss. In the event this occurs, fortunately, dental implant procedures have become the gold standard for permanent tooth replacement.
Disease, accidents, trauma and poor dental hygiene are the major culprits in tooth loss. We are so fortunate to have a way to replace lost teeth. Tooth loss not only affects what we can eat and how easily we can smile, it may also affect the shape of our face. All of these aspects of tooth loss severely affect our confidence. And, we certainly never want to lose confidence in ourselves.
The science, research, and understanding necessary for the discovery of advanced dental treatments is time-consuming and requires great curiosity and patience. The application in clinical practice also demands great training and advanced education. The practice of implant dentistry is as much about art and experience as it is about science.
Select a Dentist You Trust
Many dentists send patients to a special oral surgeon for implants. Other dentists can provide full-service dentistry including implants. Be sure the take the recommendation of your family dentist if they do not do implant procedures themselves. Or do your research and talk with friends and colleagues who have had the procedure. Interview each dentist until you find one that you feel is right for you. Ideally, meet the dentist and the team and ask about their experience and training.
You Didn’t Grow Your Teeth Overnight
How many years does it take for human teeth to grow? The answer is years. The artistry and dentistry required for dental implants certainly does not take as long as the time it takes to grow a natural tooth. However, it is lengthy which is why you want to be very discriminating in your choice of dentist. Once you’ve selected the person you want to work with, you will undergo a consultation during which the dentist or oral surgeon will walk you through the entire procedure. Understand that replacing a tooth with an implant is a lengthy process.
You will have a complete understanding of the process, and will know whether you will need to have a bone graft or sinus lift. Frequently dental implants take as long as six to eight months to complete. If it is necessary to do a bone graft, the area will require 4 to six months of healing time. Once the area is healed, the titanium post will be implanted, which can also require a fairly lengthy time in which the bone attaches itself to the post. Finally, the crown that looks and feels like the tooth you lost is placed over the titanium post. You will return to eating and smiling and feeling as good about your implant as you did your natural tooth. Maybe you’ll feel even better, knowing that it will last the rest of your life.
Like your natural teeth, dental implants require brushing, flossing, rinsing and regular visits to the dentists for cleaning. If you have teeth that need to be replaced, don’t hesitate to seriously consider dental implants. They are one of modern dentistry’s finest contributions.