Can Dental Implants Function Like My Natural Teeth?
Whenever possible, saving a natural tooth is the preferred course of action. In some cases, that is not always possible. When a tooth must be extracted – or when a tooth has already been lost due to damage, injury, or another factor – dental implants offer patients the opportunity to restore a smile that looks and functions almost exactly like (and sometimes better than) their natural teeth. At The Dentist of Allen, our talented team performs a complete suite of restorative dentistry services, including the placement of dental implants, to help patients regain their confidence, appearance, and dental function. If you have questions about what to expect with dental implants, including if they’ll limit your ability to eat certain foods, read on to find the answers.
When are dental implants necessary?
When a natural tooth can’t be saved due to excessive decay, damage, or absence, placing a dental implant is critical for preserving the structural integrity of the jaw and restoring the patient’s smile and dental function (chewing, etc.).
How are dental implants placed?
To better understand the dental implant process, patients should first have an understanding of what dental implants actually are. Many people use the terms “implant” and “crown” interchangeably, but this is incorrect. A dental implant refers to the titanium (metal) screw that is placed into the patient’s jawbone, while the crown is the lifelike artificial tooth – also called a restoration – that is attached to the implanted screw.
Once any underlying issues like periodontal disease or decay have been addressed, a member of our team will begin the process of placing the dental implant. To keep patients comfortable, we offer nitrous oxide and sedation dentistry options in addition to the local anesthetic used during the procedure. A small incision is created in the gumline, and the implant (screw) is inserted beneath the tissue. Over the next several months, osseointegration occurs, meaning the implant will integrate with the jawbone to ensure stability. After the implant has been adequately integrated, we will then affix the custom crown or restoration to the implant using an attachment piece called an abutment. We are proud to also offer All-on-4® dental implants as a convenient option for patients requiring a full arch or full mouth restoration.
Can I eat normally with dental implants?
Dental implants are remarkably durable and functional, and can actually help restore a patient’s ability to eat foods they have not been able to eat for many years. However, it is still important to care for your implants just as you would a natural tooth to avoid damage. Tips for maintaining your dental implants include:
- Limit consumption of staining foods and beverages
- Brush after eating staining foods and beverages
- Avoid overly hard, crunchy, and sticky foods
- Brush and floss twice daily
- Attend regular dental exams
- Schedule professional in-office cleanings twice yearly
With proper dental hygiene and oral care, dental implants can look, feel, and function just like your normal teeth – or better – for decades to come.
With dental implants in Allen, TX, you can smile confidently once again
Not only can dental implants enhance the form and function of your smile, but they can actually help prevent bone loss and keep your overall oral structure intact. If you have lost a tooth or are facing the loss of a tooth, call The Dentist of Allen to learn more about your options for custom dental implants in Allen, TX today.