What Is a Dental Implant?
An implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed into the lower or upper jawbone to replace one or more teeth. These natural-looking artificial teeth are implanted to provide support for a bridge or dentures.
An implant often requires follow-up surgery to ensure it stays in place in the jawbone. The staff at Classic Dental Arts discuss with patients the pros and cons of having an implant. A prerequisite for this procedure is that the patient must have enough bone to support the implant and healthy gums.
Why Have a Dental Implant?
When a tooth needs to be replaced because of disease or an accident, dental implants are often the best option. Other reasons for having an implant include:
- Dentures may be too uncomfortable to use
- To keep remaining teeth intact
- Support for dentures
- Partial dentures do not meet a person’s needs
- A patient has been hiding a smile because of missing teeth
- What Is the Procedure Like?
A number of types of implants are available, so treatments can take anywhere from a day to several weeks or months. Dr. Karas and his staff discuss their best options with the patients. Once the type of implant is chosen, the procedure itself involves three steps:
- Replacement teeth — These usually take some time to make, so in the interim, the doctor may provide a temporary crown, denture or bridge.
- Placement of the implant
- Healing process — Time must be allowed for the jawbone to grow around the implant.
Who Is Eligible for Implants?
Chronic illnesses can often slow healing after surgery, so having a dental implant may not be the best option. However, if a person is in good general health with a jaw sound enough to support an implant, he is a good candidate. A physician’s clearance is needed before scheduling implant surgery.
Dr. Karas recommends careful oral hygiene for a period of time before scheduling an implant.