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Answering Some Very Important Questions About Dental Implants

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Dental implants can be a very good choice for anyone who is missing a tooth or teeth or who needs to have one or more teeth pulled. Implants are permanent, so you don't need to take them out and clean them every night as you do dentures and bridges. They can replace rotted teeth, chipped or cracked teeth, or severely discoloured teeth, and will ensure you can eat freely, without pain or worrying about further damage to your teeth. If you've been told that you might need a dental implant, or if you are considering replacing a tooth or teeth with such an implant, note a few important questions about this option, and then discuss these with your dentist as needed.

Can any dentist install a dental implant?

Installing a dental implant is actually more complicated than you may realize; there is a base or foundation for the tooth that is literally screwed into the gum line. A temporary cap is put over this while the gums heal. Once the gums heal, a permanent cap is formed and shaped and put over this implant.

Forming this permanent cap can mean sculpting it so that it looks natural and in line with other teeth, and then ensuring that it is the same colour and shade as teeth around it so it doesn't stand out and look artificial. All of this takes skill and artistry, so you may want to choose a dental specialist for your implant, or someone with years of experience in installing such a tooth and shaping those types of caps.

Do implants slide around or move while talking or eating?

Because a dental implant involves a cap over the implant itself, you might assume it will slide around or move while you're talking or eating. However, this cap is not like a denture that is attached with a simple adhesive; it is shaped and formed from a strong substance like ceramic, so it becomes permanent and doesn't move.

Does an implant need maintenance?

The cap over an implant may eventually wear down, chip, or crack, but this usually happens after many years; otherwise, they are very durable. A very small number of people may also have an allergy to the metal used for the implant, but this is very rare. For the most part, dental implants are very strong and durable and shouldn't move out of place or otherwise suffer damage and need replacing.