Dental implants are the ideal way to replace missing teeth. An implant is simply an artificial root that’s made from a very strong metal, titanium. It’s anchored into your jawbone, where it serves to support an artificial tooth. If you’ve lost a single tooth, or many teeth, Dr. Tassos Katechis at Merrick Dental Care can help you to restore your smile with dental implants.
An Alternative to Bridgework or Dentures
Unless you have a serious medical condition (diabetes or cancer, for instance) that could preclude the use of implants, they’re almost always a better solution than bridgework or dentures. The problem with dentures and bridges is that they don’t stop the bone loss that can occur in your jaw as a result of losing your teeth. There is no bone loss with implants – in fact, the bone structure is actually enhanced. You also won’t have to worry about embarrassment due to dentures or bridgework shifting or slipping when you eat.
Implant surgery is performed using the same local anesthesia you have when you come to see us for fillings or extractions. You don’t have to be put to sleep, and there’s no pain. After the titanium posts are attached to your jawbone, you’ll need a few months to heal. Then artificial teeth will be created to replace the ones you’ve lost.
The number of implants you’ll need can vary – it’s possible that an implant may not be needed for each tooth. Often, if teeth are missing sequentially, a couple of implants will create a sufficiently strong foundation to hold several teeth.
Depending on the number of implants needed, and the time it takes for you to heal, you can usually expect to have fully functional, natural-looking teeth in anywhere from 3 to 8 months.
Taking Care of Your Implants
Implants don’t require any special care. All you have to do is brush and floss regularly, the same as you do with your natural teeth. A word of caution, though – there are two things that might cause your implants to develop problems. The first is poor oral care. If you’re not brushing, flossing, and getting regular cleanings, your artificial teeth won’t come to any harm, and neither will the implants that hold them in place. You could, however, develop gum disease, and that could cause your implants to fail.
The other concern is grinding or too much biting pressure. That can damage your implants in the same way that it damages natural teeth. You could be grinding your teeth without even realizing – some people do it as a subconscious habit, and others even do it in their sleep. If you’re a habitual grinder, Dr. Katechis can fit you with a special type of mouth guard that will prevent damage to your implants. Don’t fall for any misconceptions you have read about dental implants.
If your teeth are damaged, or if you have missing teeth, we urge you to consider dental implants. They have many benefits. They’ll work and look exactly like your own teeth, so you can smile to your heart’s content, and enjoy all the foods you loved before you sustained the damage.
To learn more about how you can benefit from the cosmetic, oral health and functional benefits of dental implants, call Dr. Katechis today at 566-944-5300 for a consultation, or visit our Contact page to book an appointment. For any unanswered questions you might have, read our FAQs page.