At some point in your life, you may need a tooth pulled or want to consider replacing a missing tooth. In either case, you might be a candidate for a dental implant. Modern dentistry has enabled us to replace teeth in a way that is comfortable for you to bite and chew with and looks natural. A tooth implant can replace one of your most visible incisors in the front of your mouth or a molar that helps you chew. The goal is to improve your smile or bite, making it more attractive and functional.
While dental bridges were the only option in the past, today’s tooth implant surgery offers a permanent solution. It is also a fairly lengthy process, but it can help retain bone mass, a benefit that bridges do not offer.
Whether the tooth is one of the most visible incisors or a molar tooth near the back of your mouth, there are some factors to consider when choosing whether or not to get a tooth implant. One factor is the time it takes.
What does getting a dental implant involve?
Based on the tooth being replaced, the size of the area the dental implant will be placed and your mouth’s structure, the dentist can decide how many appointments will be needed to complete the dental implant.
During a dental implant, your dentist will place the dental implant in your jawbone, replacing your old tooth. Depending on your health, your dentist can decide if the dental implant needs time to heal in your jaw bone or if it is strong enough to have the replacement tooth attached immediately. Once the area is ready for the custom tooth, your dentist can attach the tooth, which will match the rest of your teeth.
Dental Implant Steps
- Remove old tooth if necessary
1 month of healing
- Evaluate jawbone and perform a bone graft
3-6 months of healing
- Surgery for dental implant rod in jaw
3 months of healing
- Place permanent crown
How to care for a dental implant
In addition to a follow-up appointment(s) with your dentist, you can help your dental implant by regularly cleaning your teeth. Using a toothbrush and toothpaste that is approved by the American Dental Association will increase your chances of keeping the dental implant clean and healthy. If you would like recommendations, ask your dentist what toothbrush and toothpaste would work best for your oral hygiene.
In addition to brushing your teeth, take care of your general health. Illnesses can slow down the healing process of your dental implant. Part of taking care of your health means not inflicting your body with issues on purpose such as using drugs; smoking or chewing tobacco can lead to your dental implant not healing properly.
How Westdale Dental Can Help
The dentists at Westdale Dental can help you decide on the right tooth replacement solution. We can help you weigh the benefits and the timing as well as financing options to make whatever you choose budget-friendly.
One exclusive option we offer is the Westdale Dental Membership Plan, which helps our patients who don’t have dental insurance get quality dental care at an affordable price. This plan includes two regular exams per year and also offers a 15% discount on additional dental work, including dental implants. Learn more about this exclusive plan.
Please call our office to learn more about tooth implants or to make an appointment. We look forward to addressing your questions and concerns about your dental care.