Dental implants are the preferred tooth replacement option for people who deal with missing teeth. Whether you have missing teeth due to injury, tooth decay, or you may need a tooth extraction in the near future, you should learn about why dental implants are such a trusted treatment. With proper care and maintenance, they can restore your smile for decades. Dr. Frank Henrich has many years of experience offering full-service dental implants in Tulsa, OK and wants to make sure you have all of the information you need.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount artificial replacement teeth in the form of dental crowns onto them.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Because implants are embedded in and fuse to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. Unlike dentures, dental implants won’t slip or shift in your mouth — an especially important benefit when eating and speaking. This secure fit helps the implants feel more natural than dentures.
For some people, ordinary bridges and dentures are simply not comfortable or even possible, due to sore spots, poor ridges or gagging. In addition, ordinary bridges must be attached to teeth on either side of the space left by the missing tooth. An advantage of implants is that no adjacent teeth need to be prepared or ground down to hold your new replacement tooth/teeth in place.
To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also commit to keeping these structures healthy. Once the implant site has healed, dental implants never need to be removed for cleaning or adjustments unless they are damaged. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
Top Oral Care Tips for Implants
Most dental implants are successful, and there are a few steps you can take to help ensure success and make your implant last.
Practice good oral hygiene – brush twice a day and floss once daily. Using interdental brushes, brushes that slide between teeth, can help clean the hard to reach areas around your implant.
Quit smoking – smoking can weaken the bone structure and can contribute to implant failure.
Visit your dentist – cleanings and exams every six months can help ensure your implant is in good condition, and that it stays that way.
Avoid chewing on hard foods – don’t chew on hard items such as ice and hard candy because they can break the crown and your natural teeth.