Tooth loss occurs for many reasons from gum disease to accidents. In fact, according to the American College of Prosthodontists, 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth and 36 million of them don’t have any teeth at all.
The good news is, there’s never been a better replacement option than today’s advanced dental implants, which not only look and function just like natural teeth, they’re permanent.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that 3 million Americans have opted for dental implants to replace their missing teeth, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. That number is growing too – by 500,000 each year.
The results are awesome, but what about the process. Is it painful?
True, getting dental implants is a surgical procedure, but most patients at Legacy Dental Care report that the process is less painful than a tooth extraction. Dr. Darling uses a local anesthesia during the procedure and afterward, any mild soreness can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription pain medication.
Getting dental implants is a three-step process.
The first step involves implanting a titanium post into your jawbone. This post is topped with a screw to keep it clear of gum tissue and food debris. The gum is then secured over the implant where it will ultimately fuse to the jawbone, mimicking a natural tooth root. The healing and fusing process takes several months.
Once your gum is healed, Dr. Darling makes a mold for a crown, which will be your new permanent tooth. The mold, shade specifications and other details are customized to look like the rest of your teeth. The mold is sent to a dental laboratory for fabrication.
Your custom-made crown is placed over the implant.
Once the implant fuses to your jawbone it looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth.
Implants require only the same oral hygiene as the rest of your teeth. That means brushing twice per day, flossing daily and visiting the dentist for a check-up and professional cleaning every six months. With proper care, your dental implants can last a lifetime.
If you have missing teeth, book a consultation either by phone or online with Dr. Darling at Legacy Dental Care in Ballwin, Missouri.