Dental Implants: Near Natural Replacement Teeth
If you have missing teeth or uncomfortable dentures, dental implants may be an option. Implants are a life-long investment that feel and look just like your natural teeth. The implant is actually a prosthetic or artificial tooth root that is surgically placed into the jaw to anchor a replacement tooth or bridge.
The ideal candidates for dental implants in DC are in good general and oral health. The implant requires adequate bone in your jaw for support; the best candidates also have healthy gum tissues.
Dental implants take time. This restorative treatment involves oral surgery and recovery time before the new tooth, a crown, is placed. The process typically involves a team of dental professionals – a surgeon (oral surgeon or periodontist) to place the implant, a lab technician to make the crown, and a restorative or cosmetic dentist to place the crown. Although each case is different, there are generally three phases to the treatment – implantation, healing, and restoration:
- Implantation: The first phase of treatment involves the surgical implanting of a titanium rod into the jaw. This surgical procedure for one implant usually takes about an hour. The surgery is minimally invasive and does not leave an open wound, leaving the post-operation discomfort minimal.
- Healing: Once the implant is in place, it needs to be left to heal for 2-6 months, the time required for the titanium to fuse with the bone. During the healing phase, your bone will grow around the implanted rod. Successful dental implants require this time for the rod to fuse to the bone, creating a sturdy anchor for the replacement tooth. You may be fitted with a temporary denture or bridge to aid in eating and talking.
- Restoration: The third and final phase is the placement of the restoration. After your jaw has healed and the implant is fully integrated with the bone, a small connector post – called an abutment – is attached to the implanted rod. Impressions of the surrounding teeth are taken so that the customized restoration – crown- will match your natural teeth. This phase is usually completed in four to eight weeks.
Your dental implant should receive the same at-home oral care as your natural teeth – regular brushing and flossing. It will be monitored as part of your regular dental checkups.
Remember, beautiful teeth are healthy teeth!
Dr. Nishan Halim
If you have questions about dental implants contact Dr. Halim. As a cosmetic dentist in DC, he will provide clear and helpful information about the procedure and help you determine if an implant is the right solution for you.