Dental implants offer benefits beyond just the cosmetic appeal of having a full smile. Having a full mouth of teeth can allow patients to chew properly and speak properly. Often, people with missing teeth start to have a sunken-in look in their cheeks, but dental implants can restore facial fullness and improve the look of the face overall. Many people say that the best benefit of dental implants is that they finally feel confident again for the first time in a very long time.
Dental implants require several different appointments, spaced over a period of months. At the first appointment, the X-rays are taken, and the dentist will make molds of the mouth. These molds will create a kind of map for the dentist to plan the dental implant placement. During the next appointment, the dentist will create incisions in the gums and place the implant anchors within tiny holes drilled into the jaw. After that, there will be a healing period of at least several months to allow the implant to fully integrate into the jaw bone. Finally, the dentist will attach the new prosthetic teeth to the implant post, anchoring the teeth securely into the mouth.
The care of dental implants is remarkably similar to the care of natural teeth. It is important to brush thoroughly and consistently. Flossing should be done daily, as well. Just as with natural teeth, patients should never chew on non-food things like pencils. Dental implant patients should see their dentist for check-ups on a regular basis to make sure that the implants stay in good shape. In many cases, dental implant anchors will last a lifetime, although the crown part of the implant may need replacement every 10 to 15 years.
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