Unlike other dental restorations, dental implants mimic the entire natural tooth because they also replace the root of the tooth. Dr. Victor Siegel notes that there are several benefits to dental implants. Candidates for dental implants should have adequate jawbone tissue, be free of gum disease, be in good overall health, and practice good oral hygiene.View transcript
So a dental implant is a substitute for a tooth that's been lost. It mimics a natural tooth in that there's an implant that screws into the jawbone that replaces the root of the tooth. There's an attachment piece from the implant itself to the outer portion of the mouth, and then we put a crown on top of that, so it becomes functional for a patient. So the process for getting a dental implant includes a 3D scan, a CT scan so we can visualize the bone in 3D, and then we can decide if there's enough bone for us to implant. Then the day of surgery, we'll have a surgical guide, and we can put the implant right where we need it to be. An ideal candidate for a dental implant is someone who has lost a tooth that has nice sound bone, healthy, no periodontal issues, they have good hygiene, and can heal well. The average procedure time for a dental implant is 45 minutes to an hour. So the recovery time for a dental implant depends on what kind of procedure was performed. It's generally one to three days of initial healing, sometimes a little bit of soreness. That can usually be managed with over-the-counter medications. And then, the real healing takes anywhere for three to four months in order for the implant to integrate into the bone before it can be restored. The benefits to a dental implant are that they don't decay. It's a single unit. It needs to be taken care of -- brush, floss, but it cannot get a cavity like a traditional tooth can. It also does not involve adjacent teeth, typically. Whereas a dental bridge, you would need to use adjacent teeth and put crowns on those in order to replace a missing tooth spot. Our patients who have dental implants are really happy with them. They function just like their old tooth did, and they really can't tell the difference.