Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Reports indicate that more Americans are choosing dental implants as replacement options than in the past. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that their facial contours will be preserved. The implants themselves are small titanium screws that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are titanium screws that act as tooth root substitutes. For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. Healing time following surgery varies from person to person and is based on a variety of factors that includes the hardness of the bone. The average healing time after placement is 3-6 months. Following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums and gradually bond with the jawbone. You should be able to wear a temporary appliance during this period, if needed.
After the implants have bonded with the jawbone, Dr. O'Neal will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. After 4 weeks, your general dentist will make your impressions for your new crown or bridgework.