Dental Implants 

Introduction

Dental implants are a beautiful natural-looking solution for missing teeth.  They are the modern-day treatment of choice for tooth replacement.  Dental implants are surgically placed in the jawbone.  They serve as anchors for the attachment of replacement teeth, crowns, and partial or full dentures.  Unlike dentures, there is no problem with slippage, so you can eat, speak, and smile with confidence.  Overall, most people find that dental implants are comfortable, convenient, and improve the function and appearance of their teeth.

Dental implants may be an option if you are replacing a tooth or receiving a crown, partial dentures, or full dentures.  Dental implants are not for everyone.  Candidates for dental implants need to have healthy gums and bones to support the implant.

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Diagnosis
Your dentist can evaluate if you are a candidate for dental implants by examining your teeth, gums, and jawbone.  Your dentist will check for signs of gum disease and decay.  X-rays and CT scans will be taken to determine the health of your teeth, gums, and the availability of bone.

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Treatment

Dental implant procedures require a series of appointments.  It usually takes from three to nine months for the process to be completed.  Dental implant surgery can take place in a dental office or a hospital as an outpatient procedure.  You will receive a local pain reliever or be sedated for the surgery. 

Surgery is required to place the dental implant in the jawbone.  In some cases, a series of implants are joined together by a support bar.  The bar provides security and stability for a full denture.  After surgery, you will receive pain medication and antibiotics.  You will initially need to eat a soft diet and refrain from strenuous activities.

It may take up to six months for your bone to fuse with the implant.  After healing has taken place, your dentist will attach your crown or denture to the dental implant.  This process may require several adjustments to achieve a good fit. 

Your dental implants can last a lifetime with good oral health care.  Our dentist will monitor your progress and design a maintenance program specifically for you.  Make and attend all of your dental appointments.  You should also brush and floss on a regular basis.  Dental implant surgery is a highly successful procedure.

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.