Several things happen in your mouth when you lose a tooth, and none of them is beneficial to your oral health. At Harbor Point Family Dentistry, we recommend dental implants because they do a great job of filling the gap in your smile and helping you maintain excellent oral health.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium that can replace one tooth, several teeth, or all teeth with an implant denture. The titanium post is placed in your jaw by an experienced specialist and left to heal for several months.
As the post heals, it fuses with bone and tissue around it. This process is called osseointegration, which makes a dental implant a unique tooth replacement. When the implant heals completely in 3-8 months, it is just as stable as the natural tooth roots were.
The next step is for Dr. Cory McMahan or Dr. Dawn Wells to cap the implant with a natural-looking tooth restoration like a crown, bridge, or denture. The result is a replacement tooth or teeth that feel and function like natural teeth and a complete smile that you can share confidently again.
Four Steps to Getting a Dental Implant
1. Dental Implant Placement
We work with the top specialists in the area whose specialty is placing dental implants.
Placing the implant post is a straightforward process that takes about an hour per implant. Your mouth will be numb so that you won’t feel any pain. You can relieve any soreness you experience afterward with an OTC pain medication like ibuprofen.
2. Implant Healing: Osseointegration
It takes 3-8 months for the implant post to heal completely in your jaw before we can attach a tooth restoration to it.
The waiting is the hardest part, but the rewards are well worth it!
3. Attaching Your Restoration
After the specialist confirms that the implant has healed fully, they’ll attach a connector piece to the implant called an abutment. Our dentist then uses the abutment to attach the restoration we choose depending on the number of teeth replaced.
That’s it! The appointments and long wait have paid off, and now you can go out and enjoy your healthy, beautiful smile!
The Long-Term Benefits of Dental Implants
A dental implant can provide a lifetime of use and offers many oral health benefits. When you brush twice a day, floss once, and stay current with your six-month exams and teeth cleanings, a dental implant can last for decades.
As soon as a tooth root is lost, jawbone loss begins due to lack of stimulation. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement that prevents this deterioration and helps keep the jawbone strong and healthy.
Traditional dentures are a solution for multiple missing teeth but can shift and slide out of place speaking and eating. This can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but dental implants are fixed in your jaw. Whatever restoration our dentist uses—crown, bridge, or denture—you can rest assured that it will stay securely in place.
At Harbor Point Family Dentistry, we work with high-quality materials and respected custom dental labs to create crowns, bridges, and dentures to complete your smile. In addition, our dentist will design your restoration to seamlessly match surrounding teeth in both shape and shade. The result is a beautiful smile that looks like you were born with.