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If you’re not completely comfortable with your smile due to missing teeth or misalignment, dental implants could be a suitable solution for you. During the implant procedure, your periodontist or oral surgeon will fuse an artificial tooth into your jawbone. This results in long-term tooth replacement.
Implants are a fairly new option; in decades past, you’d likely have to get removable dentures or a bridge if you lost a tooth. Fixed bridges need neighboring teeth for stability, and this could have a negative impact on the strength of your teeth in the future. Removable dentures can make noise when you talk, or they could slip if you eat something crunch and/or the denture adhesive isn’t strong enough. If you think dental implants would be the best solution for your smile and have talked the decision over with your dentist, here are some things you should know before the procedure.
Dental Implants are Different from Bridges
A dental implant is made of titanium metal. It fuses to your jawbone and acts as a root for the artificial tooth to keep it in place. Fixed bridges, on the other hand, have to be up to three times during your lifetime. Once you get dental implants, you can keep them for the rest of your life in most cases.
Your Appearance Will Change
One of the main reasons you’re considering dental implants in Illinois or your particular locale is to improve your appearance. But you need to brace yourself for the fact that you’ll look significantly different once your implants are installed. Even though you may be looking forward to this, give yourself time to embrace the change so you’ll feel confident showing off your new smile, no matter how long you’ve waited to get implants. After a while, you may forget that you have a missing tooth since dental implants look and function just like real teeth.
Implants are Better for Your Surrounding Teeth
Done-in-one implants are better for your smile because the procedure saves your adjacent teeth. Unlike a bridge, implants don’t have to be fastened to the teeth beside them. This protects the integrity of your teeth and keeps them healthy. Dental implants can lower your risk of tooth decay because they don’t rely on adjacent teeth for stability.
Your Self Esteem Will Increase
If you have older family members who wear dentures, you may have noticed the dentures falling out or clicking when the person talks. While you may have laughed when you saw this, the truth is that issues with your teeth or smile can be embarrassing. You’ll have the confidence of knowing that your teeth will remain in place once you get the implants, which can make you feel more comfortable in social settings. This could have a significant impact on your life and open you up to new opportunities and relationships now that you feel more comfortable interacting with people.
You’ll Have to Prep For the Procedure
The process for receiving dental implants requires several steps. First, you have to complete a dental exam which can include molds of your mouth and X-rays. Before you get the implants, your dentist will consider how many teeth need to be replaced and evaluate the strength and condition of your jawbone. You should also make sure you have a friend or family member to take you home after the procedure. You’ll be given anesthesia and should not operate a motor vehicle until the anesthesia wears off.
The Procedure Is Extensive
Dental implants involve a series of surgeries. The entire process can take up to nine months, sometimes longer. While this may seem like a long time, and some procedures only take three or four months, most of the time is spent allowing your mouth to heal and giving new bone time to grow in the jaw. Once you have completed healed, the orthodontic surgery will place an abutment before installing the crown or implant prosthesis. You will likely be in pain after your treatment, and your dentist will prescribe medication to help with this.
Once the implants are installed, you’ll receive instructions on how to care for them. Generally, you care for your implants the same way you tend to your natural teeth. Be sure to brush and floss regularly to avoid plaque buildup. Rinsing your mouth after eating to keep food particles from lodging in your teeth may be helpful as well. Knowing what to expect before your implant surgery can help you look forward to making your wish of a healthy smile come true.