It's possible that you will have a missing tooth at some point in your life. It may be due to trauma, such as an accident or sports-related injury, or due to old age and having poor oral hygiene. In either situation, you'll be sure to have questions about the dental implant procedure and you may think it is a good fit for replacing your missing tooth. Here are the answers to two common questions.
How Long Does The Procedure Take?
The dental implant procedure is quite different from other options to fix a missing tooth since it will require several visits to the dentist to create and install the permanent dental appliance.
It starts with getting a consultation to determine if you would be a good candidate for dental implants. The dentist will look at the placement of the missing tooth and your jawbone to determine if it is strong enough to support the dental implant.
It is possible that you'll need to return for a second visit to have a bone graft, which is a method of providing more strength or mass to your jaw bone to support that titanium post. This is often used in cases where the jaw bone is very thin in the area of the missing tooth or the jawbone has deteriorated and needs additional support.
Once the jawbone has healed, you'll return for a third visit to place the actual titanium post into your jawbone. The procedure is quite invasive and takes some time to heal, during which you will wear a temporary crown on the post. This will help fix your smile until you are ready for the final crown.
You'll return to the dentist for a final visit to inspect the titanium post to ensure it has healed properly. During the time between visits, your dentist will create the final crown that is meant to be an exact fit in terms of size and color for your mouth. The implant is attached and you should be good to go with a perfect smile.
How Long Will The Implant Last?
What makes a dental implant so appealing to patients is that it has the potential to last forever if you take good care of your mouth with proper oral hygiene. The implant may be a fake tooth, but you still need to brush and floss regularly to keep your gums and jawbone healthy. With partial dentures, you'd be lucky if you could get 10 years out of them before replacement is necessary.
For more information about dental implants, contact a local dentist.