Dental implants are an ideal method of replacing missing teeth and helping you smile again. They feel, look and function like natural teeth, making them a popular choice.
Dental implants can help you feel confident in your ability to chew, speak and smile, and with proper care, they should last for many years.
Dental implants are artificial roots that fix into the jawbone. Typically made from titanium or similar biocompatible materials, dental implants closely resemble a natural tooth and serve as a stable foundation for crowns, bridges or dentures.
Why Get Your Missing Teeth Replaced?
Not having all your teeth can affect how you eat, communicate and connect with others. If you are missing one or more of your teeth, it may be a good idea to think about getting dental implants. Dental implants can allow us to:
- Eat food comfortably
- Talk loudly and clearly
- Smile with confidence
- Help protect your health by decreasing the chances of gum diseases and bone deterioration around the surviving teeth
What’s Involved in Getting Dental Implants?
There are two varieties available: single-tooth or multiple-teeth implants. Your dentist will advise you on the best choice based on what needs replacing.
Implant for a Single Tooth
For individuals needing a single new tooth, a single-tooth implant is usually recommended. In this procedure, a small metal post (implant) is put into the jawbone in the space left by the missing tooth. After the area has healed, a permanent restoration is connected to the implant.
Implant for Multiple Teeth
If you have multiple missing teeth, your dentist may recommend a dental implant with a bridge or denture. This procedure consists of placing several implants into both jaw areas where the replacement teeth would go, and then once they have had time to heal, they are connected to the bridge or denture.
Are you a candidate for dental implants? If you have experienced one or more tooth losses due to tooth decay, trauma or illness but don’t want to rely on removable dentures and are otherwise in good health, you may be eligible.
To make a space for your new tooth roots to grow, we’ll prepare the gums and bone tissue around the area. It usually takes several months to complete this part of the process. Upon completion, we’ll connect and place your dental implant(s) to the gum tissue.
After the implant is placed, we’ll explain how to take care of and maintain it. If you follow our advice, your implant should last a lifetime. Generally speaking, flossing and brushing daily along with regular checkups at the dentist twice a year is what we suggest.
While you may have a lot of questions about how dental implants look, feel and function, one question we often hear is: “Can dental implants be stained like real teeth?”
People worry about their dental implants staining from things like coffee, tea, red wine, carbonated beverages, tobacco products and dark chocolate. Even though dental implants are made to be resilient against these staining substances, if the crown portion of an implant is significantly damaged, the implant could become discolored.
What Can Damage Dental Implants?
Although dental implants are resilient and dependable, it’s important to practice caution when caring for them. Foods that are high in acidity can adversely affect implants. Chewing on hard items like ice, lollipops and inedible objects like pens can damage dental implants.
If you think your dental implant has been damaged, please reach out to us immediately. Unaddressed damage can cause pain and discomfort when eating, as well as possible infection if not attended to correctly.
What About Whitening?
If you find your implants have become discolored, what steps can you take to brighten your smile? While you may be tempted to use a whitening product, it’s best that you speak with us first before trying to whiten them.
Generally, dental implants should not be whitened, as some whitening agents can cause damage to artificial teeth. Some whitening products have abrasives that can scratch or rub away the implant’s surface, while other products contain chemicals that can interact with the implant and cause further harm.
Some whitening products or very abrasive toothpaste can damage or discolor your natural tooth enamel and cause sensitive teeth, too. Speak to us about how to get whiter teeth with less risk than over-than-counter whitening products.
Do you have a dental implant and want to brighten your smile? Reach out to us if you are looking for a brighter and shinier grin! Our professional dentists and hygienists here at Legends Dental can help you pick the best whitening options to erase discoloration on your teeth. They can give their specialist insight to determine if lightening your teeth is safe and successful for your dental implant.
Have you lost a tooth? Let us restore your smile and help protect your oral health. Contact us now to talk about our tooth-replacement options and make an appointment.