Implants are one of the most exciting developments in modern dentistry, providing a permanent replacement for missing teeth that look and feel just like the real thing. At Mountain Peak Dentistry in Lakewood, Colorado, licensed general dentist Brennan Bonati, DDS, can fill the gap in your smile with dental implants. To find out more about dental implants, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
An implant is a metal post placed into your jawbone that functions as the root of an artificial tooth. Implants are permanent, and unlike procedures like dentures and bridges, they look and act like natural teeth and easily fit into your mouth, residing in the same place where your missing tooth used to be. Though it’s not possible to truly “replace” a missing tooth, implants come pretty close.
Dental implants are appropriate for adults who have missing teeth and are healthy enough to undergo minor dental procedures such as tooth extractions. Implants work best if you have healthy gums, and you’ll need enough strong, healthy jawbone to support them. If you’ve had bone loss in your jaw but are otherwise a good candidate for implants, Dr. Bonati may refer you to get a bone graft or sinus lift to increase your jawbone volume.
Before getting dental implants, be sure to tell Dr. Bonati about any medical conditions you have.
Implants require a commitment of a few months. That’s because implants become fully integrated into your jawbone, which takes time.
The first stage is for Dr. Bonati or Dr. Lai to install the implant in the socket of your missing tooth, which he does with local anesthesia. Then, you’ll need to wait for the bone to heal around your implant. This process usually takes three to six months.
Once your implant is fully secure in your jawbone, Dr. Bonati installs an abutment, which is the post that your new tooth fits directly onto. You’ll then need to wait for one to two weeks for your gums to heal.
After installing the abutment, you’ll come in and get impressions of your teeth. Using these impressions, a lab will create a new tooth that’s custom-designed to fit into your mouth. After receiving your new tooth from the lab, Dr. Bonati places it on the abutment, either by screwing it on or using an adhesive.
This process may sound time-consuming and inconvenient, but keep in mind that the benefits of implants are long-lasting. With proper care, your new tooth will last the rest of your life.
Dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth, and you’ll need to take care of them in much the same way with proper brushing and flossing. Though your implants don’t decay the way natural teeth do, they can still accumulate plaque. You’ll also want to make sure to keep the gums around your implants clean and healthy.
To learn how dental implants can help you, call Mountain Peak Dentistry or schedule an appointment online today.