Your cosmetic dentist may recommend dental implants in Newton or Chestnut Hill if you have missing or badly damaged teeth. Teeth that have been severely damaged due to tooth decay or gum disease may need to be extracted to protect you from infection. Before you schedule a visit with your cosmetic dentist, read these answers to common dental implant questions.
Why Are Dental Implants Necessary?
A missing tooth should be replaced by a dental implant as soon as possible to reduce your risk of further bone loss, jaw problems, and misaligned or crooked teeth. Whether you’ve had a tooth extraction, or a tooth has fallen out due to trauma or gum disease, you will suffer from bone loss at the site of the missing tooth. The bones that support your teeth will gradually deteriorate if there is no tooth to support, causing your facial structure to change significantly. Your gums, jaw, and skin can begin to look sunken and caved in. A gap in your teeth will also allow your remaining teeth to shift to try to fill the space.
How is the Dental Implant Procedure Performed?
Prior to your procedure, your cosmetic dentist will create an artificial tooth, or dental crown, that perfectly matches the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth. Dental crowns are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. The dental crown will be anchored in place by a titanium post that acts as the dental crown’s root. The post is fused to your jawbone. If you’ve suffered from bone loss, your dentist may need to do a bone graft in order for the dental implant to have a proper foundation. After your bone has healed around the titanium post, your cosmetic dentist will attach the dental crown to the post using an abutment and screws.
How Long do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants can last up to 15 years with proper care and maintenance. You’ll need to brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist every 6 months for a checkup and professional teeth cleaning.