Many people who have an unnatural fear of losing their teeth are concerned as to what sort of impact a missing piece of their smile can have on their world. Tooth loss can happen at any time too, like taking an unexpected softball to the mouth with little to no warning. With how busy your schedule can be, who wants to deal with the inconvenience of a lost tooth? Besides being essential to repair the gap for aesthetic reasons, it also needs to be done before the teeth on either side can start shifting over.
Not only can this help prevent unnecessary discomfort, if left untreated for too long, but it could also compromise the strength of the bone and put the surrounding teeth at risk. At Pacific Modern Dentistry, we are happy to tell you about a means of replacing any unsightly gaps in your mouth with what looks like your natural tooth!
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
If it has been determined your real tooth cannot be saved, then it is our job to restore your smile to its former glory. While there are more traditional options, such as a partial plate that fits your palate or dentures for multiple losses, nothing can compare to having your teeth. With dental implants, the magic exists in being able to screw a tiny titanium bolt directly into the empty socket, fitting it with a connector called an abutment. We then attach it to a bit of enamel that is shaped like your lost tooth. Not only is the process virtually pain-free, but it can also be permanent with proper care. Due to the biocompatibility of bone with titanium, the two are capable of fusing and can last for the rest of your life.
Procedure and Recovery for Your Implant
The good news is, nearly everyone is qualified for dental implants! Before beginning treatment, first, we will take multiple high-resolution x-rays to determine the proper course of action. Based off of what we see and discussing any questions you may have can help determine exactly what it is needed for your recovery. For some, their bone density may be affected, and a bone graft may be necessary to elevate the jawline beforehand. Others may need to start a round of antibiotics if they seem to be prone to infection.
Once you are cleared to have surgery, it will only take a couple of hours to insert the post. Your mouth then needs to heal enough for us to apply the crown to the abutment. Depending on how fast you are capable of healing also determines the rate at which your implant can fully fuse to your bone. This alone can take between three to six months for a full recovery. With an impressive 99% success rate, the result is often a permanent replacement that is virtually indistinguishable from your original megawatt smile!
Proper care of your brand-new tooth does not have to be complicated, either. It is just as easy to take care of your dental implant as it was before you lost the tooth! Use a soft-bristled brush to gently clean around your gums to remove any buildup. Flossing is still important, especially around your new implant. Because the crown and the abutment are just as susceptible to erosion as a real tooth, it is important to prevent the unnecessary introduction of bacteria into any potential scratches that could form. We recommend a checkup every three months so we can continue to monitor your implant.
If you have any questions regarding dental implants or wish to schedule your next appointment, please do not hesitate to call us here at Pacific Modern Dentistry at (206)284-4505 today!