Here’s what you need to know about dental implants

Dental Implant | AtlantaOne day your dentist may recommend that you have a dental implant, either to replace a missing tooth or as an alternative to dentures or a bridge. Dental implants are a long-term solution that can also offer more comfort, functionality and stability than dentures. Dental implants can restore your ability to eat and speak normally and can improve your facial appearance.

The closest thing to a natural tooth

Implant is a word used to describe the entire process, but only a portion of the finished product, a small metal screw, is actually surgically implanted into the jaw to act as a new tooth root. An implant can replace one tooth or several, in your upper or lower jaw, or both. The structure placed over the implant, a crown, will look like and function as a natural tooth.

Implant surgery happens in three separate steps

Step One

ŸYour dentist surgically places a titanium screw directly into your jawbone to serve as a replacement tooth root and anchor for your crown. The implant heals for about three to six months, which allows bone to develop around it and anchor it firmly in place.

Step Two

Once that new bone has developed, your dentist will attach an extension piece to the implant called a post. The surrounding gum tissue then needs to heal, a process that usually takes several more months.

Step Three

ŸWhen healing is complete, the implant is ready to serve as the foundation for your new tooth, and a ceramic crown is attached to the implant post.

The entire implant process takes approximately five to nine months, and can last a lifetime

Depending on the location, an implant procedure is usually 80-95% successful. Implants may be more likely to fail if you smoke, grind your teeth, or have osteoporosis or diabetes. The most common reasons for implant failures are poor oral hygiene and anything that puts too much pressure on the implant structure, such as grinding your teeth, causing it to move and come loose from the jawbone.

More questions about dental implants? Find out if an implant could be the right solution for you. Call us today: (404) 255-9080.

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