Your Essential Guide to Dental Implants and How They Work

The need to replace a tooth isn’t a new one, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, either. In fact, by the time most Americans reach the ages of 35-44, 69% of them will have lost one of their natural teeth. Unchecked periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is responsible for most tooth loss, as it destroys both your gum tissue and your bone, leaving your teeth weak and unsupported.

When a tooth needs to be removed or replaced, you’re likely to receive a recommendation for a dental implant. While it’s true that there are other means by which to replace a tooth (such as through the use of bridges or dentures), dental implants are generally preferred by both patients and periodontists.

Today, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about what dental implants are, how they work, and what life with one looks like.


How Does a Dental Implant Work?

A dental implant is essentially a screw made of titanium that is securely drilled into your jaw bone to act as a replacement root for the new tooth. A connective piece called an abutment goes on top, followed by the crown, which is created to look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. It is important to note, however, that not all dental implants can be placed immediately.

If the jaw bone has been damaged by periodontal disease, you may require bone regeneration or grafting to restore strength and stability to the bone. Once the site has been approved for placement, your periodontist can install a dental implant. The healing process from start to finish will take between 3-9 months, but once the bone has securely fused around the implant, you won’t even notice it’s any different from the rest of your teeth.


How Long Will a Dental Implant Last?

Dental implants are designed to stand up to daily wear and tear and to do it well. Because the success rate for dental implants is so high (over 95%), you can expect to keep and use your dental implant for the rest of your life.

Of course, care and maintenance of your dental implant are important to improve your chances of success. This means regular brushing and flossing, as well as bi-annual appointments to your dentist for cleaning and checkups.


What Do Dental Implants Feel Like?

Once they’re installed in your mouth and healed completely, your dental implants will feel and function exactly like the rest of your teeth. They won’t move or wiggle when you speak or eat, and you don’t have to take them out or put them in. You’ll simply treat them like what they are for you: a tooth. Plus, because they’ll look like the rest of your teeth, you’ll be able to enjoy the same bright smile that you had before receiving your dental implant. Unless you tell someone they’re there, only you and your periodontist will know!


How Quickly Can You Get a Dental Implant?

If you need a dental implant and you have plenty of healthy bone to support it, you can get one in an hour. Yes, you read that correctly; Teeth-in-an-Hour is a procedure that can provide you with a functioning dental implant in only one hour. Because most of the work and planning is done before you arrive, you’ll be outfitted with a precisely placed implant and temporary dentures to wear as the bone heals around it. When the bone is completely healed, you’ll receive your final crown.

Don’t wait to get the smile and the confidence you want. To learn more about same-day dental implants from Pittsburgh Periodontist, give us a call at (412) 787-7555 or send us a message online.

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