If you have healthy teeth overall but lose a tooth to an accident, genetics or other issues that affect just one single tooth, a dental implant is the best method of replacement. An implant is permanent and doesn’t need wires or adhesives to hold it in place.
Before getting an implant, you will need to come to our Washington DC office for a dental exam and consultation to determine if you are a good candidate. Being a good candidate for dental implants simply means that there is little chance of your body rejecting the implant. Rejection can happen to some people because of the presence of certain medical conditions, or because they don’t have enough bone under their gums. Implants, made of titanium, need to fuse to the natural bone in your jaw to become a permanent part of your mouth.
Once it has been decided that you are a good implant candidate, the next step is the surgical placement of the titanium implant or post that will eventually hold the artificial tooth (the crown).
Your mouth must heal before the crown can be placed. There are actually several different types of implants, and which type is used in your case will depend on the amount of jawbone you have and other factors. The healing time between the placement of the implant and the attachment of the crown can be affected by the type of implant, your overall health, your age and your compliance with the instructions you receive after the implant is placed. A temporary crown can be placed immediately so that you can go home with a tooth in place the same day that you get the implant.
After your mouth has healed, a connector piece called an abutment is attached to the top of the implant, and then the crown is attached.
Once you have your permanent crown, taking care of your teeth is the same as always. Your new implant acts like the roots of your natural teeth, while the crown is sturdy and can last a lifetime. Like a natural tooth, the crown is not indestructible and could be damaged or break, but with proper care it will function like and be as strong as the rest of your teeth. With the ability to color match the crown to your other teeth, it should be indistinguishable from them and look completely natural.