Dental implants are artificial teeth that are placed into the jaw to replace missing teeth. They look, function and feel just like natural teeth. They can be used to replace single or multiple teeth, or to support a bridge or denture.
They are a great alternative to conventional dentures and bridges, which can be difficult to clean and have a tendency to slip or fall out. Implants also help to prevent the deterioration of the jawbone that is often associated with missing teeth.
Getting Dental Implants
Anyone who is healthy enough to undergo routine tooth extraction or oral surgery can get a dental implant, but those who suffer from bone loss and other underlying health issues, such as heart disease or diabetes, may need to be evaluated before implantation can be considered. In addition to having sufficient bone in the jaw, patients must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits to ensure a successful outcome.
During treatment, the dentist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform a thorough exam and review your medical history. This will include a review of X-rays, a panoramic X-ray and a 3D cone beam CT scan to evaluate your oral health and determine if you are a candidate for implants.
There are several different types of dental implants available and your dentist will discuss each type in detail during the consultation. The most common type of implant is endosteal implants, which are surgically placed into the jawbone and fuse with it after a period of time (osseointegration).
A second option is subperiosteal implants, which rest on top of the jawbone but still underneath the gums. These implants are less invasive and typically involve placing an external screw onto the bone to hold the implant in place, rather than inserting it into the jawbone.
The final type of dental implant is zygomatic implants, which are surgically placed in the front of the jaw, near the upper or lower lip. They are usually used to replace a tooth that is very small or in a difficult location.
Your Dental Implant Dentist will be able to explain the different types of dental implants, as well as provide information about how long they will take to heal and what to expect before and after the procedure. You will then be able to decide which is best for you and your specific needs.
During the procedure, your dentist will remove your existing teeth and prepare the area for the implant. This is a simple procedure that takes just a few minutes. Then, the implant will be placed in your jaw and a period of time is allowed for it to heal before the false teeth are fitted.
You can expect to have some pain and swelling after the implant has been placed, but this will dissipate within a week or so. After this, you can return to your normal eating and talking habits.
Dental implants have helped millions of patients achieve a more beautiful smile and improved their quality of life. At Mount Sinai, our oral and maxillofacial surgeons have extensive experience in restoring smiles with this innovative treatment. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!