Dental implants are widely used in restorative dentistry. Unlike many other tooth replacement devices, dental implants help maintain the thickness of the jawbone by stimulating the production of new cells. In addition, the implants often last a lifetime and can be used to support dental bridges and dentures.
If your dentist plans to use a dental implant as a part of your tooth-replacement plan, you may wonder what to expect from the placement of the device. In addition, you may know little about the proper maintenance of a dental implant. Here is a bit of information to help you better understand implants and their care:
The Installation of a Dental Implant
Dental implants are installed by a dentist during an in-office procedure. As an implant is installed, it is drilled into the jawbone.
You may be concerned about experiencing discomfort during the procedure, but your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the implantation site. As a result, you will not feel any pain as the implant is inserted.
Once the implant is in place, the wound will begin to heal. This healing process, which occurs over a period of several months, results in the connection of the jawbone to the implant.
As the implant becomes secured by the bone of the jaw, the device becomes increasingly stable. This stability allows the implant to act as an anchoring support for other dental devices, such as dentures. It also allows the implant patient to enjoy a normal diet without fearing that the implant will be damaged.
After the implant wound has healed, the implant can be covered by a crown if it is being used to replace a single tooth. A fixed bridge or denture can be attached if a large number of teeth are being replaced.
Care of An implant
The care of a dental implant is not much different than that of a natural tooth. The crown or fixed bridge covering an implant should be brushed thoroughly each day. In addition, the gums surrounding the implantation site should be cleaned regularly.
Also, the use of an antibacterial mouth rinse may be prescribed to help avoid gum infections around the implant. Oral bacteria can infect the area around an implant to cause an inflammatory gum infection called peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis can cause bone loss and implant failure.
To learn more about dental implants and their care, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area. Contact a dental office like Richard L. Myers, DDS for more information and assistance.