What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the closest that artificial teeth can get to being healthy, beautiful, and natural-looking. They allow you to live your life the way you want to; confidently eating, smiling boldly, laughing, talking, kissing and enjoying all of your normal everyday activities without worrying about your teeth.
You can think of dental implants as artificial roots of teeth that look very similar to screws. When the implants are set in place into your jawbone, they bond with your natural bone and become a fixed and permanent part of your mouth. They become a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth, called crowns.
A connector (also known as an abutment) is placed on top of the dental implant to hold and support the crowns. These crowns are custom-made for each patient to match their natural teeth and fit their mouth perfectly.
In modern times, dental implants have been used successfully for over 30 years. They are the strongest and most reliable devices available for replacement teeth, and even better, they allow these new teeth to feel natural, look beautiful, and function the same way your natural teeth would.
When this procedure is performed by a trained and experienced dental implant dentist, dental implant surgery is one of the safest and most well-performed procedures in the field of dentistry.
Three things you didn’t know about dental implants:
- Dental implants can be traced back to ancient times, around 600 AD, when tooth-like pieces of shells were hammered into the jaw of a Mayan woman.
- Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that preserves the natural bone, which helps to stimulate natural bone growth, in turn supporting the entire facial structure.
- Three million people in the United States have dental implants, and that number is growing rapidly, by over 500,000 cases annually.
How long does it take to get dental implants?
Every single patient is different. After your first consultation, your implant dentist should provide you with a complete treatment plan that includes the estimated amount of time that it will take to complete the entire process. The total treatment time also depends heavily on your needs as a patient, your total medical and dental history, the condition of your jawbone, and the technique and materials that the dentist will use. It can be as short as a few months, or more than a year for more complex conditions.