If you have one or more teeth missing, dental implants offer a permanent solution to restore a complete and confident smile.
A dental implant consists of a titanium post surgically positioned into your jawbone beneath your gums that is then topped with a porcelain crown designed to match your natural teeth. This anchor not only gives your implant a strong foundation, it also helps to preserve the strength and integrity of your jawbone by maintaining regular pressure from biting and chewing.
Once your permanent crowns are in place, dental implants look and act just like your natural teeth. You can eat the foods you like and care for your new implants with regular brushing and flossing. And you’ll feel comfortable and confident smiling and speaking with your new, natural-looking smile.
The dental implants we use at Rockland Dental Group are made to last a lifetime. With the proper care, the titanium post should stay in place forever. A porcelain crown may need to be replaced in 5 to 15 years, but with the implant already in place, that process will be a simple one. The longevity and natural look of dental implants are both factors worth considering when making a decision about this investment in your smile.
What are “All-on” implants, and how are they different from individual implants?
If you only have one or two missing teeth, or if the missing teeth are located in different areas of the mouth, your dentist may recommend individual dental implants. With individual implants, each tooth is supported by its own titanium post and topped with its own porcelain crown.
For patients who need to replace a full set of teeth or several teeth on the upper or lower jawbone, “all-on” implants may offer a better solution. Known as “all-on-4” or “all-on-6” implants, this procedure uses either four or six posts within a single jawbone to anchor a full arch of prosthetic teeth.
The “all-in” solution is more cost-effective than a full set of individual implants, and the placement of the posts can often be completed in a single day.
What can I expect during a dental implant procedure?
Once you and your dentist have agreed on the right treatment plan, you may have some appointments to prepare your mouth for surgery by removing any damaged teeth or even grafting additional tissue onto your jawbone if needed.
A typical dental implant procedure is done under general anesthesia and can take up to a couple of hours. Your dentist will make an incision into the gum to expose your jawbone before implanting the titanium posts.
You may be sent home with a temporary crown or denture to wear while you heal from surgery and your jawbone begins to grow around the posts. This process can take up to a few months, during which time your permanent crowns or prosthetics will be designed. You may require an additional outpatient procedure to play the abutment — the part of the implant that attaches the post to the crown.
Once your smile is fully restored, you can care for your implants just as you would your natural teeth. Brush and floss regularly, keep your twice-yearly dental appointments, and avoid tobacco and chewing on hard foods.
With the proper care, your new smile will stick around for years to come.