What are dental implants?
Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, implants allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them. They allow you to enjoy the strength and function of natural teeth. Implants are an excellent choice for replacing one or more missing teeth. Dentures can also be attached to implants.
How do Dental Implants Work?
Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. Dentures or bridges mounted to implants won’t slip or shift in your mouth — an especially important benefit when eating and speaking. This secure fit helps the dentures or individual crowns placed over implants feel more natural than conventional dentures.
For some people, ordinary bridges and dentures are simply not comfortable or even possible, due to sore spots, poor ridges or gagging. An advantage of implants is that no adjacent teeth need to be prepared or “ground down” to hold your new replacement tooth/teeth in place.
To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also commit to keeping these structures healthy. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
What can you do to ensure success of implants?
Most dental implants are successful. Following are a few steps you can take to help ensure success and make your implant last.
- Practice good oral hygiene– brush twice a day and floss once daily. Use Waterpik® and/or interdental brushes (brushes that slide between teeth) to clean all areas around your implant.
- Quit smoking– smoking can weaken the bone structure and can cause the implant to fail.
- Visit your dentistregularly– cleanings and regular checkups every six months can help ensure your implant is in good condition, and that it stays that way.
- Avoid chewing on hard foods– do not chew on hard foods such as ice and hard candy because they can break the crown and your natural teeth.