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How Dental Implants Work

Jul 16, 2008
It can happen for a lot of different reason; you loose a tooth, and now you have a gap in your smile where the tooth used to be. This can create a lot of different problems from making it more difficult to chew food to making you self-conscious when you smile. Fortunately, there are ways to fix the problem.

In the past, many people chose to get a temporary bridge or denture to fill the gap, but that meant messy adhesives and the pain of getting bits of food and seeds stuck between the denture and your gums.

A much better solution is to consider getting a dental implant. Dental implants provide a more permanent solution to replacing a missing tooth, and do not have the mess and discomfort that is typically associated with dentures and bridges. In fact, after the procedure is completed it is easy to forget that one of your teeth is not one of your original teeth.

The procedure is relatively painless, and you will be back eating after only one visit. Although it is a surgical procedure, it is usually done with only a local anesthetic, like Novocain, and doesn't require being put to sleep. However, if fear of pain is the only thing standing between you and better oral health, you should make an appointment to talk it over with your dentist or oral surgeon. Chances are excellent that they have other options that will make the procedure as painless as possible.

The oral surgeon begins by placing a titanium implant into the bone in your jaw. Once the implant is in place it will begin integrating with the bone. Within four months the implant will essentially be fused with the bone. Once the implant is in place an abutment is screwed into the implant. This abutment will provide a surface for the crown to be attached to. The crown is the portion of the implant that is visible. It is the part that looks like a tooth. It is made of a substance that is hard, and has an appearance that is similar to a real tooth.

In your first visit you will receive a temporary crown which will function just like a real tooth. You will be able to eat with it, and it will be matched to the color of your other teeth, so it will blend in with your natural teeth. Within a couple of months you will receive your permanent crown. The temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be cemented onto the abutment. At this point you essentially have a new tooth. It will look and function just like all of your other teeth.

While it is possible that the crown will come loose from the abutment, it is not a common occurrence. A quick trip to your dentist will get it reattached.

Don't put up with all the mess, adhesives, and special cleaning solutions associated with dentures. Dental implants are a quick and permanent solution to a missing tooth problem.
About the Author
Dr. Ronald Receveur is a native of New Albany. He graduated from Indiana University Southeast, where he received his undergraduate degree with honors in Chemistry. He earned his Doctorate in Dental Surgery from the Indiana University School of Dentistry.
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