dental implantsDental implants are artificial tooth roots that are anchored into the jaw bone. They provide a solid foundation into which permanent or removable teeth can be placed. There are a number of reasons people choose implants. They improve your appearance and look and feel just like your natural teeth. Plus over time they fuse with your bone and become permanent. They improve your speech because they do not slip, move, or fit poorly like dentures. This eliminates mumbling and slurring of your words. They are also more comfortable than dentures.

Another reason people prefer implanted teeth is because they make it easier to eat. While dentures sometimes slip and slide when you eat certain foods, implants are anchored firmly in place. This allows you to eat anything you want without pain or discomfort. They also improve your confidence and self-esteem because they fit and function like natural teeth and allow your to smile without having to worry if they will shift or pop out like dentures sometimes do. The implants also help to improve your long-term oral health because you don’t need to alter your other teeth to put them in place.

Durability and convenience are two other reasons people opt for implants. Implants are made with materials that are as strong as or stronger than your natural teeth. With proper care your implants can last for decades. Many have been known to last a lifetime. The implants are convenient because you can care for them just like you do your natural teeth. They eliminate the inconvenience and embarrassment of having to remove and clean the replacement teeth separately and having to keep them in place using adhesives. They look, act, and feel like your natural teeth.

Almost any healthy person can have implants installed. All that’s required is healthy gums and an adequate amount of bone into which to anchor the implant. Anyone that is healthy enough to handle routine dental extraction or deal with oral surgery can be a candidate for having implants done. Plus most implants have up to a 98% success rate depending on where in the jaw they are placed. The person simply has to be committed to proper dental hygiene including brushing, flossing and making their regular visits to the dentist for check-ups and the implants can last forever.

If you are interested in implants, contact your dentist. They will let you know if implants are right for you. Some medical plans cover the insertion of implants depending on the type of dental problems you’re having. Your dentist can create an individualized treatment plan to address your specific needs. The process, which takes 6 to 12 weeks, includes inserting a titanium post used as a tooth root, adding an abutment, and attaching a replacement tooth or crown which matches the color, look, feel, and function of your natural teeth.

Many patients say implants are less painful than a regular tooth extraction. Local anesthesia is used during the procedure and over-the-counter painkillers are prescribed afterwards.