What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are individual false teeth that replace missing or damaged teeth. Implants also stop the loss of jawbone mass that occurs when a tooth is missing. Implants are a great alternative to dentures or crowns. Unlike dentures, permanent implanted teeth allow you to eat all kinds of foods that you cannot with dentures. You don’t need to worry about them when playing sports as well. Unlike dentures, implants do not come out. They are anchored in your jawbone with steel rods that make them as strong as, sometimes even stronger, than your regular teeth.
Dental implants can also be used by people with healthy teeth to correct alignment issues without resorting to orthodontics.
Dental Implant Procedure
1. First, the implant anchor is put into your jawbone by an oral surgeon. The anchor functions as the tooth root and is made from metals such as titanium.
2. Next, the post is attached to the anchor. The artificial tooth will eventually be attached to the post.
3. Once the anchor and post are installed, the jawbone needs to grow around the anchor, locking it into place permanently. This process takes three to six months.
4. Once the jawbone and implant anchor are well attached, the artificial tooth is cemented onto the post.
A newer procedure allows implants to be installed in one step, although this isn’t available for all patients.
How long do Dental Implants last?
With proper oral care, implants can last a lifetime. If you brush and floss daily, and get regular dental check-ups, dental implants will stay strong because the bone underneath the gums will be strong.
Can dentures or crowns be replaced with implants?
Yes! Dr. Barney can successfully replace any previous dental treatments such as crowns, dentures, and heavily filled teeth with implanted teeth. As long as the supporting jawbone is strong, the implant will adhere correctly.
Who is not a good candidate for dental implants?
People who smoke may not be able to get implants. Once the anchor and post are placed in the jawbone, they need more bone to form around them. The sucking action involved with smoking can loosen the abutment screw holding the implant in place. People with chronic disorders such as heart disease or diabetes, or people undergoing radiation therapy, are not good candidates for implants. When you come in for your initial consultation with Dr. Barney, it will be ascertained if implants are right for you.
Is it easier to care for dental implants than dentures?
Yes. When you wear dentures, you need to remove them every night, clean them, and soak them in a solution. Dental implants do not need to be taken out — you care for them exactly as you do with your normal teeth: brushing, flossing, and having regular checkups and cleanings.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, and would like to see if you are a good candidate, call (304) 754-8803 to schedule a consultation at our office in Hedgesville, WV.