Even though our teeth are made up of one of the toughest materials in our bodies, the truth is, sometimes our natural teeth won’t last forever. Whether it’s due to trauma, gum disease, or decay, it’s not uncommon to have a tooth fall out or to have one removed. If this happens, there are many tooth replacement options available, but a favorite choice of your Columbia dentist is a dental implant.
What is a Dental Implant
A dental implant, or even multiple implants, is a superior way to restore your smile and give you a permanent replacement for your tooth. They are usually preferred over a dental bridge or dentures because the implant itself essentially replaces the entire tooth’s structure, not simply the crown. This helps restore your mouth to full function, and oftentimes, you won’t even be able to tell you were ever missing a tooth. In short, dental implants create a natural feel that can last a lifetime.
Benefits of a Dental Implant
We already know that a dental implant can give us back full functionality of our smiles, but there are many other upsides to this tooth replacement option, such as:
Improved appearance and speech. Since dental implants replace the tooth’s natural root system and the post is integrated into the bone, dental implants continue to provide stimulation to the bone. This can help reduce the look of wrinkles and lower your risk of bone loss in the jaw. And since an implant functions very much like a natural tooth, you’re able to speak clearly and do not have to deal with any annoying slippage that can often occur with dentures.
Easier eating. One common complaint of denture wearers is that they can’t eat what they want when they want to. Dental implants eliminate that restriction and leaves people free to enjoy the foods they love the most. There is no worry of a denture slipping or food stuck getting under one. Overall, those with dental implants can eat without worry.
Enhanced oral health. Another difference between a dental implant and its denture counterpart is that a dental implant is a permanent structure. This means there’s no need for overnight soaking or the extra cleaning that comes with a removable denture. You can care for a dental implant just as if it’s your natural tooth.
What to Expect During an Implant Procedure
The first step in determining whether a dental implant is right for you is to schedule a consultation with your dentist in Columbia. This visit will allow your dental team to examine your specific situation and determine if an implant is the best tooth-replacement option. If it is, your team will review the treatment plan and schedule the procedure. The procedure itself is pretty easy and consists of a few parts:
Place the post. Your dentist and your team will insert a titanium post into your jaw bone. While it may sound scary, the procedure itself is only mildly to moderately painful.
Healing time. After the post is implanted, you will be fitted with a temporary crown while your bone integrates into the post, building you a super-strong foundation.
Add the abutment. Once the post is sturdy and healing time is complete, your dentist will custom make you a permanent crown that will be affixed to the post.
Overall, getting a dental implant is an easy and straightforward treatment that can bring your smile back to life. If you’re missing a tooth or are at risk for losing teeth, give our Columbia dental office a call to schedule an appointment today. We’ll be happy to identify the best treatment option for you and your individual situation.