Improving Your Dental Care

A Dental Implant Can Restore Your Smile By Filling A Gap From A Lost Tooth

You might find it embarrassing when you have a front tooth missing since it affects the appearance of your smile. Rather than hide your smile or feel self-conscious, talk to your dentist about getting a dental implant. An implant can be matched to your other teeth so it looks natural and gives you the confidence to smile and laugh normally again. Here are details to know about dental implants.

An Implant Doesn't Affect Your Other Teeth

Your other teeth won't be affected during the dental implant procedure. An alternative to an implant is a bridge, and this procedure requires removing the enamel on the neighboring teeth so they can get crowns to hold the bridge in place. None of that is necessary with an implant. Instead, the implant is placed in your jawbone and the crown is then attached to the implant.

Bone Thickness Might Be An Issue

When you have a missing tooth, the bone in the area gradually shrinks since it isn't being stimulated. This could be a potential problem when it's time to get an implant.

If your tooth has been missing for years, you may have lost a lot of bone. If the tooth loss was recent, bone loss may not be an issue. The only way to know is to have a consult with an implant dentist. Even if you have bone loss, the dentist might be able to use a different technique or give you a bone graft so an implant is still possible.

An Implant Is Done With Local Anesthesia

If you've had a filling in the past, you're familiar with getting an anesthetic shot to keep the area numb while the dentist works. The same thing happens when you get an implant. You'll get a shot in the area so it is numb before the process begins. You shouldn't have any discomfort, but you might feel pressure and tugging.

You May Get A Temporary Crown To Start

A dental implant involves three parts. One is the implant that goes into your jawbone. Another is the crown or artificial tooth that shows when you smile, and the third one is the abutment that joins the crown to the implant.

The first step is to put in the implant. When it's in, the dentist may stitch your gum closed over the area while the surgery heals and the implant has time to fuse with your bone. If you don't want a gap in your teeth while you wait a period of weeks, the dentist might make a temporary crown you can wear. The crown closes the gap, but it isn't permanent.

You'll eventually have a porcelain crown made in a dental lab that's an exact fit for your mouth and that looks like a natural tooth. You'll have it put on the implant once your bone and gum area is healed and ready. For more information on dental implants, contact a professional near you.