Choosing to have dental implants can be a big decision, and can often occur as a result of an accident or through poor dental health. If you have lost or damaged a tooth or need to have a tooth extracted, you may want to choose these implants to replace your missing tooth and keep your smile looking as natural as possible. Dental implants can be a great way to achieve a natural looking smile, as each tooth is made and fitted individually and is created from porcelain. This can be coloured to the same shade as your teeth and looks almost identical to natural teeth once it is fitted so nobody will ever know about your implants, unless you choose to tell them! Titanium is also used in the construction of dental implants, to create a small post on the top of the tooth, which can be securely fixed to your existing bone using a small screw. Obviously this bone must be in good health, and strong enough to accommodate dental implants – your dentist will be able to check this before you begin the procedure to ensure that your implants will be successful.
Many people worry about going to the dentist and having implants fitted may sound like a long procedure, but it is a relatively simple one. The implantation itself is quick and simple, and should take around one hour for a single tooth implant. If you are having multiple dental implants fitted it may take up to three hours, but you should not have to go back for this procedure more than once – it can all be complete within one appointment. Pain and discomfort is very uncommon; you may find a little swelling around the site afterwards (particularly if you have had multiple dental implants) but this is generally not painful and will reduce naturally after about three days. If you are choosing to have dental implants as a result of a tooth extraction, then it is quite possible to have them put in straight away, after the tooth/teeth have been extracted. This means that you don’t have to walk around with an uncomfortable gap in your teeth for weeks before you can have implants.
After you have had dental implants, you will need to take care of them at home by keeping them clean and going for regular checkups with your dentist. Porcelain implants have a very good life expectancy, but this is of course dependent on how well they are cared for. Smoking and drinking should not affect this too much, but if you are a heavy smoker do mention it at the consultation stage of your procedure, and it can be discussed in detail then. Good consultation is important before you go ahead with implants, and you need to make sure that you are eligible as some medical conditions can cause complications. This includes conditions such as bleeding or bone disorders, or uncontrolled diabetes. Again, check carefully during your consultations so that you can ensure your suitability and guarantee the health and longevity of your dental implants.