Have you lost a tooth due to an injury or extraction? In the past, your only options were dentures or bridges, which are both artificial teeth placed on the top of your gums. With modern advances, however, Marzena Zachwieja, DDS, at Sunny Smile Dentistry in Old Bridge, New Jersey, provides another option in dental implants. They essentially give you a new, permanent tooth so you can eat, brush, and floss just like you normally would. To find out whether dental implants are the right option for you, schedule an appointment online or by phone today
A dental implant uses a titanium screw that bonds to your jawbone to anchor an artificial tooth. Titanium is a metal that naturally fuses with bone, which makes the implant very strong.
You might need a dental implant if you’ve lost a tooth. Dental implants can also be used to anchor a crown or bridge.
You get X-rays or another type of imaging and talk with Dr. Zachwieja about a plan for surgery. If necessary, you undergo a tooth extraction and a screw is placed into the bone socket of your missing tooth. You then wait for up to six months while the screw fuses with your jawbone.
Depending on the surgery, you’ll either be under general anesthesia (asleep) or local anesthetic. You may be able to have an artificial tooth placed at this time. For the first few weeks after surgery, you’ll need to eat soft foods only while your jaw heals.
Once the screw has fused with your jawbone, a piece called an abutment is placed on top of the screw. Sometimes this can be done at the same time as the surgery. Dr. Zachwieja takes an impression of your mouth and the replacement tooth is created, and then attached to the abutment using a screw or cement.
This whole process takes between three to nine months.
The success rate for dental implants is close to 98%. In some cases, implants for the back of the mouth may require a sinus lift, which is a surgery to add more bone to the base of your sinuses. This provides more bone to anchor the implant.
There is always a small risk of complications such as bleeding or infection. In rare cases, the implant may be placed incorrectly or there may be poor bone quality in the jaw.
A dental implant can be flossed and brushed like a regular tooth, and you can eat food as you would normally. You should also schedule regular checkups with Dr. Zachwieja.
Call Sunny Smile Dentistry today to learn whether dental implants are a good option for you, or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.