If you’re missing a tooth, or even several teeth, you may feel as if you don’t have any options to get your smile back functioning as it should. However, your dentist in Lakeland wants you to know that that’s just not the case! There are many tooth replacement procedures available including a dental bridge, dentures, and dental implants. Today, we’re taking a closer look at one of the more preferred treatments — dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Like a dental bridge or removable denture, dental implants essentially replace a missing tooth or several missing teeth. But that’s where the similarities end. Dental implants, unlike bridges or dentures, replace both the tooth’s root as well as the crown. They’re also permanent, non-removable restorations that function very similarly to natural teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Since dental implants provide complete, permanent restorations, they’re often considered the best tooth-replacement option available. They’re not only incredibly strong, but they can also last a lifetime and give patients their smiles back. Some benefits of dental implants include:
- Increased comfort. With dental implants, there’s no worry about food getting stuck under your dentures and no concern of slippage. Just a solid restoration that you won’t even be able to tell isn’t your natural tooth.
- Ability to eat what you want. Many denture wearers and those with a dental bridge don’t like that they can’t eat what they want when they want to. However, dental implants don’t limit your diet to only soft foods. You can even eat corn on the cob if you want!
- Easier to care for. Dental implants are non-removable, permanent fixtures in the mouth. This means that there is no need to remove them to clean them or soak them overnight. You can take care of a dental implant just like you would any natural tooth!
- A healthier mouth. When a dental implant procedure is done, there is no need for your dentist in Lakeland to touch any other teeth in the mouth. This keeps all of the other teeth structurally sound and strong. This doesn’t apply to a dental bridge or dentures as you do need to rely on natural teeth to anchor in both of those options.
Getting a Dental Implant
When some patients first hear of a titanium post being placed into the jaw bone, they’re understandably concerned and perhaps a little scared. But thanks to advancements in dental technology, getting a dental implant is pretty easy and pretty painless. Here’s what you can expect:
- Place the post. The first step of getting a dental implant is to have the titanium post surgically placed into the jaw bone. This is the foundation for the entire restoration and may cause a bit of discomfort but nothing severe.
- Give it time. Your body won’t immediately fuse the bone and post together as this will take a little time. During that healing process, you will have a temporary crown covering your post for comfort and protection.
- Restore the crown. Once the post is healed and fully integrated with the bone, you’ll have a sturdy base for the rest of your restoration. At this time, your dentist will replace your temporary crown with a custom-created permanent crown that’s designed to match the rest of your teeth. Once this step is complete, nobody will ever notice that it’s not your natural tooth!
You don’t need to live with a missing tooth or teeth. There are many options available to you to get your smile back to health and get you back to having confidence. We welcome you to call our Lakeland dental office today to schedule a consultation so we can work together to find the best way to replace your missing tooth.