According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, 3 million people in the United States have a dental implant, with 500,000 more being added to that list every year.
Given that more than 36 million Americans don’t have any teeth, and 120 million are missing at least one tooth, the group of those who could benefit from a dental implant is vast.
At Smile Design Manhattan, we believe that dental implants are one of the most effective treatments for replacing missing teeth. Here’s more information on the process to get dental implants, including what life is like after your dental implant surgery.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a titanium screw surgically implanted into your jawbone that serves as an artificial tooth root. It’s designed to replace a missing tooth, but that’s not all. Your implant stimulates your jawbone to ensure its long-term health and helps keep your other teeth in place.
Implants are usually installed in a couple of stages. First, you go under general anesthesia while your dentist drills a hole in your jawbone and attaches the implant. After this procedure, the new root needs time to heal and fuse with your jawbone; this could take 6-12 weeks.
Once the implant is secure, a connector (abutment) and crown are attached to the implant to complete the process. The idea is that the implant should then perform like a normal tooth.
What is life like after dental implants?
After each stage of the implant surgery, you may experience the normal side effects that come with healing, including swelling, minor bleeding, slight bruising, and pain at the implant site.
You should stick with a diet of soft foods, such as mashed potatoes or smoothies, for a couple of days while the site heals.
There’s a correlation between tobacco use and dental implant failure, so quitting smoking or any other form of tobacco use gives you the best chance at success.
You should also practice preventive care, including brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. It’s important also to keep up with your regular dental visits for teeth cleaning.
In short, you should treat your dental implants as if they’re your normal teeth. This means avoiding chewing on hard objects, such as ice or candy. This kind of chewing can wreak havoc on both implants and normal teeth.
If you’re missing one tooth or multiple teeth and would like to talk to a dentist about dental implants, call our Midtown West office in New York City today. You’ll be on your way to a beautiful smile once again!