Annapolis Dentist

Dental ImplantsAnnapolis, MD

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Dental implants are one of the options a cosmetic dentist might recommend if you are looking to replace one or more missing teeth. Implants are generally made out of metals like titanium, but they are sometimes made out of zirconium. They replace the roots of lost teeth and serve as bases for restorations like crowns and dentures to replace missing teeth. Replacing missing teeth roots with implants ensures the jawbone continues to get the stimulation it needs to be healthy, preventing the jawbone tissue deterioration that occurs when a tooth and its root fall out.

Implants are surgically implanted into a person's jaw and fuse with the bone tissues surrounding them over time, providing a solid foundation for a dental prosthetic, such as a dental crown or denture. The process is named osseointegration, and it can take up to six months. Restorations like crowns, dentures, or bridges are typically attached to implants once osseointegration is complete.

Dental implants are an alternative for people who have lost one or more teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, or other reasons. The advantages of implants over other options for replacing missing teeth, such as dental bridges or dentures, include:

  • Dental implants do not need support from adjacent teeth
  • Dental implants are permanent and do not need to be removed for cleaning like dentures
  • Dental implants can improve chewing function and speech
  • Dental implants can preserve bone and prevent facial sagging that can occur with tooth loss
  • Implants do not have special maintenance requirements

Determining your eligibility for dental implants

People interested in implants must have healthy gums and sufficient bone tissues in the jaw to support the implant to be eligible for dental implants. They must also be dedicated to maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting their dentist regularly for checkups and dental cleanings. Getting dental implants can take up to six months, so patients should keep that in mind.

People with health conditions that hinder their ability to heal, like diabetes or immune system disorders, might not be eligible for implants. Our dentist will evaluate them individually to determine their eligibility.

Patients should be willing to give up smoking and drinking before and after their surgery to limit the risk of complications. They might also have to get off medications that slow down the healing process.

The evaluation phase of getting implants often includes a visual examination of the patient's mouth and using diagnostic tools like x-rays to evaluate the thickness of the patient's jaw. If the patient's jaw is not thick enough for implants, bone grafts can be used to widen them. Bone grafts typically involve using donor materials to thicken the jawbone and promote the production of healthy bone cells in the area. It can take up to three months to recover from bone grafts, and patients must be fully healed to proceed with implants.

Implant surgery

Implant surgery is a relatively common procedure that can nonetheless be daunting for patients. Here is a look at what happens during implant surgery from start to finish.

First, the area where the dental implant will be placed is numbed with local anesthesia. Next, a small incision is made in the gum tissue, and the metal post of the implant is inserted into the jawbone. Once the post is in place, the incision is closed with stitches and allowed to heal.

After a few months of healing, patients return to have the artificial tooth (crown) attached to the metal post. This can be done with a simple screw attachment or via a more permanent cementing process. Once the teeth are attached, patients can expect their implants to function just like their natural teeth - in terms of appearance and function. Other restorations like dentures and bridges can also be attached to implants.

Recovering after implant surgery

It is normal for people to feel some discomfort after having implant surgery. This is perfectly normal and usually just a sign of the healing process. In most cases, over-the-counter painkillers are all that is needed to manage any pain or discomfort.

It is also vital to keep the area clean and dry to help prevent infection. The dressing will usually need to be changed every few days, and the stitches will dissolve within two weeks.

Patients should be careful not to irritate their gum tissues after getting implants. Dentists often recommend using salt water to clean the mouth after meals for the first few days after getting dental implants.

Most patients fully recover within four to six weeks and can resume their normal activities. In rare cases, however, complications can occur. These may include infection, damage to the nerve that controls facial muscles, or problems with the blood supply to the implant site. If you suffer any unusual symptoms after surgery, contact your doctor immediately.

It is important to eat soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow after implant surgery to minimize irritation and pain around the surgical site. Good options include mashed potatoes, yogurts, eggs, soups, and cooked cereals. You should steer clear of hard or crunchy foods and spicy or acidic dishes, which can further irritate the area. It is also vital to stay hydrated by sipping plenty of fluids. Water, juice, and herbal tea are all excellent choices. If you feel nauseous, try sipping clear liquids or eating small amounts of food throughout the day. You can help ensure a fast and successful recovery by following these guidelines.

The dental implant procedure typically involves placing the implant in the jawbone and allowing it to fuse with the bone over several months. Once the implant is bonded with the bone, a dental prosthetic can be attached. The entire process can take several months to complete.

Replace missing teeth with implants

Implants allow you to forget you have artificial teeth since they require no special maintenance routine. You get an artificial tooth that looks and feels like a natural tooth and a lifelong solution for missing teeth. Are you considering dental implants? Call or visit our Annapolis clinic to find out if implants are right for you.

Request an appointment here: or call Annapolis Dental Suite at (443) 863-1303 for an appointment in our Annapolis office.

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Annapolis Dental Suite is located at 200 Forbes St. #301 Annapolis, MD 21401.

(443) 863-1303