A dental implant is a metal screw that’s placed into the jawbone. This acts as a replacement for natural tooth roots. Once the implant is in place, a crown (fake tooth) is fixed to the top of it. Dental implants can replace one or multiple teeth. And the best part? Dental implants look, feel and function like natural teeth.
The main benefit of a dental implant is that you can say buh-bye to gaps. (and ‘hello’ self-confidence!) By replacing missing teeth, many people find they can talk more clearly. Plus, you regain your chewing ability. No more avoiding your favourite foods because they’re too difficult to eat. But more importantly, a missing tooth can lead to jawbone loss and deterioration. Dental implants not only replace your missing teeth, they also stimulate natural bone. This helps prevent bone loss and a sunken appearance in the face.
Confused about the dental implant procedure? No worries, here’s what you need to know.
We’re so glad you asked! A dental implant can last upwards of 30 years. While the replacement tooth (crown) typically lasts 15-20 years (sometimes longer). Taking good care of your dental implants, as you would your natural teeth, with regular check-up and cleans will help you get the most out of your treatment.
Thanks to the wonder of local anaesthetic, you won’t feel minimal pain during the surgery. It’s normal to experience a little discomfort after the implant has been placed. This is usually easily managed with good old pain relief. And you’ll be glad to hear that for most people, any pain or swelling subsides within a day or two.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with dental implants. So, what are the risks? Infection, injury to surrounding teeth, sinus damage if an implant in the upper jaw is placed too deeply, and nerve damage. I know how it sounds - scary. The reality is that the risk is very low. And if you choose a reputable dentist, you can trust that you’re in great hands.
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Dental implant aftercare is fairly straightforward. But you should always listen to your dentist’s advice. It’s best to avoid hot or very cold food and drinks for a few days. You’ll also want to steer clear of hard or chewy foods.
It’s essential to keep your mouth clean by rinsing it out after each meal. And don’t forget good oral hygiene. You might have to be a little extra careful when first brushing. Using a small-headed toothbrush with soft bristles can help. You can keep bacteria at bay by swishing a saltwater mouth rinse around your mouth.