A Root Canal

A Look At Getting Dental Implants For One Or Multiple Missing Teeth

If you need to replace a missing tooth or several missing teeth, talk to your dentist about getting a dental implant. An implant replaces your tooth as well as the root, so it is similar to having a natural tooth. Here are a few things to know about the dental implant procedure.

Most Adults Can Get Implants

There is no upper age limit for implants. However, teens need to wait until their jaw has finished growing before they can get implants. Also, as long as you're in good health and your medical conditions, such as diabetes, are controlled, you can probably get implants.

You'll undergo an initial evaluation by a dentist where you'll discuss your medications and health status. The dentist also checks the health of your gums and teeth, because if you have gum disease, you'll probably need to get it treated before you proceed with the dental implant procedure.

There Are Different Options For Dental Implants

If you're going to replace a single missing tooth, then you'll need only one implant. However, when you need to replace multiple adjacent teeth, you may not need an implant for every tooth. Instead, you can get an implant bridge or implant dentures that replace several teeth with a few implants. This makes it more affordable to replace several missing teeth or get dentures.

You Might Get Same-Day Results

The dental implant procedure is usually long and drawn out over several office visits. You may need to go for weeks with a gap in your smile. However, it's sometimes possible to get a temporary crown to wear while your implant heals. This fills the gap in your teeth until your permanent crown can be put on.

The Procedure Might Include A Bone Graft

A bone graft isn't always needed since new dental implant procedures make it easier to work around bone loss problems. However, if you've lost a lot of bone in your jaw, your dentist might want to do a bone graft to make the bone thicker and stronger so it can hold an implant securely. Getting a graft adds several months to the implant procedure since your jaw has to heal and the bone has to grow before an implant is inserted.

The dental implant procedure involves screwing an implant into your bone that acts as alternative tooth roots that keep the bone stimulated and that hold the crown in place securely. However, time has to be allotted for the implant to fuse with your bone, which could take months. Then the final step is to place the crown on the implant. Crowns, especially ones on the front teeth that are visible, are often made of porcelain so they look like your natural teeth.