When you are not happy with your smile, it can affect your self confidence. You may be embarrassed to smile around others because you have a missing tooth. A dental implant might be the solution to your problem.
An implant is usually made of titanium and is used as an artificial tooth root. A dentist, periodontist or oral surgeon drills a hole into your jawbone and places the implant. Sedation or a local anesthesia is used for the procedure.
There will be some pain after your surgery, but an over-the-counter medication may be enough to reduce it. You will likely be instructed to eat only soft foods for the first week after you get an implant.
After three to six months, the implant becomes a permanent part of your jawbone. The dental professional will then attach an abutment to the implant. A crown is placed over the abutment.
A crown is an artificial tooth that matches the color of your natural teeth. It blends in so well with your own teeth that no one will know that it is not a real tooth. The process of placing the crown requires several visits to the dentist or periodontist and may take as long as two months.
In addition to improving the appearance of your smile, a crown helps you chew your food more easily. This means that you will be able to eat a wider variety of foods than you did when you had a missing tooth.
In order to get an implant, you must have a healthy jawbone that can support it. You should also be in good overall health to get an implant. If you have gum disease, heart disease, diabetes or other type of health problem, you may not be a good candidate for an implant. Your dentist can tell you if an implant is an option for you.
Your dentist may not recommend an implant if you smoke. Smoking has been shown to damage dental implants.
You must practice good dental hygiene when you get an implant. You have to floss and brush your teeth regularly, or your crown could become damaged and have to be removed.
If you are a healthy person and practice good oral hygiene, then your dental implant and crown can last a lifetime. With the help of an implant, you can fill in a gap caused by a missing tooth and get a smile that you will be proud to show.