Dental implants are used to restore smiles when patients have missing teeth or need to have teeth taken out due to advanced decay or trauma. Implants are titanium posts designed to be implanted in the bone tissue of the jaw to serve as a base for prosthetic teeth. Thanks to advances in dental technology, modern prosthetic teeth mimic the look and functionality of natural teeth better than ever before. Dental implants are available for those with one missing tooth, several missing teeth, or a whole mouthful of missing teeth.
Are You a Good Candidate for Implants?
Most people are good candidates for implants, but only a dentist who is skilled with implant technology can provide you with a definitive answer. You should be in good overall health and not have late-stage degenerative gum disease. If you’re like many people who need implants, you may not have adequate bone tissue in which to place them. However, you may be a candidate for a bone tissue graft.
How Are Implants Installed?
With most patients, implants are installed under local anesthesia — although if you are having full-mouth implants installed, your oral surgeon will probably recommend that the procedure be performed under general anesthesia. After the surgery, it will take from between three to six months for the bone tissues and the implant material to fuse together. After this process has been completed, the dentist will then need to perform a minor outpatient procedure to attach abutments to the implant so that prosthetic teeth can be put in place. The last step is to attach the prosthetic teeth.
How Long Do Implants Last?
In many cases, dental implants have the potential to last the rest of your life. However, it’s essential to practice good dental hygiene as well as see your dentist for an oral exam and thorough cleaning every six months in order to optimize the chances of your implants lasting as long as possible.
Please feel free to contact our Providence, RI office at your convenience for more information on implants or other dental procedures.