A dental implant is a specialized prosthetic device that is used in conjunction with other appliances, such as dental bridges, crowns, and dentures, to replace one or more missing teeth. The device is unique because of its integration with the bone of the jaw.
During the placement of an implant, the dentist inserts the small metal object through the gums into the jawbone. As the resulting wound heals, the jawbone cells grow around the implant, securing it firmly.
Once the osseointegration is complete, the implant can withstand the same bite pressures as a natural tooth. Thus, dental patients who undergo dental implant services can continue to enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods, regardless of the food's firmness and texture.
Dental implants have a nearly perfect rate of success. However, it is still important to prepare for an implant properly. Here are a few things you can do to help your implant-based restoration go as planned.
Don't Delay Your Implant Surgery
If you lose a tooth, it is best to replace it as soon as possible. It may seem harmless to delay the placement of an implant. However, unless the delay is health-related, it can cause problems with your implantation procedure.
A dental implant requires sufficient jawbone material for its insertion and support. If the jawbone is too weak or thin, bone grafts may be needed to restore the bone before the implant surgery.
In order for the jawbone to remain thick and healthy naturally, bite pressure is transferred from the teeth to the bone to stimulate cell production. However, once a tooth is lost, no bite pressure is received at the site of the missing tooth, causing the bone in that area to atrophy.
The longer the tooth is missing, the more the jawbone may shrink. Thus, it is best to schedule your dental implant surgery soon after your tooth is lost.
Take Care of Your Gums
Your gums should be in great shape prior to the placement of your implant. In addition, to the support of the jawbone, a dental implant is also supported by the gingival tissues.
The gums heal around the implant after the surgery. However, if the gums are inflamed or infected, the healing process is delayed. Additionally, the bacteria from a gingival infection can spread to the jawbone and prevent osseointegration.
To learn more about dental implants and how you should prepare for them, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.