Tooth loss in adults is far more common than we might expect. Adults living with tooth loss often find it difficult to chew or speak properly. They may feel self-conscious about their appearance and the long-term complication of untreated tooth loss can lead to more severe health and appearance issues over the months and years. Our Annapolis, MD, dentist Dr. David Handelsman wants to restore smiles with beautiful, lifelike dental implants, the next best thing to a real tooth.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small metal post that is designed to function just like tooth roots. Therefore, when a tooth is extracted or falls out, the implant serves to replace the roots of the missing tooth. To do this, our dentist will need to insert the implant into a small drilled-out hole in the jawbone. From there the implant will be able to support a false tooth or teeth.
What is the dental implant procedure like?
Getting a dental implant takes time. Here are the steps involved in getting your long-term tooth replacement from our downtown Annapolis dental office.
You will visit with Dr. Handelsman, who will examine your mouth and take x-rays to make sure that your jawbone is strong and healthy enough to support an implant. This initial visit helps us determine if you are right for dental implants.
Once Dr. Handelsman has determined that you’re an ideal candidate for implants, you will undergo minor surgery so that we can place the dental implant into the jawbone. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia and it typically only takes about 30-45 minutes to place a single implant. Once the implant is placed, the gums are stitched back up and allowed several months to heal.
A second surgery is often performed in which we will need to open up the gum tissue to reveal the implant. From there, we will place an abutment over the implant. The job of an abutment is to connect the implant with the false tooth. In some cases, certain types of dental implants already come with a built-in abutment, so this second surgery isn’t necessary.
The final step is to make and place a false tooth over the abutment. If you are only replacing a single tooth then a dental crown will be cemented over the abutment; however, several implants can be placed throughout the jawbone to support a removable dental bridge or a full set of dentures if you are missing several or an entire row of teeth.
We have the latest high-tech dental equipment combined with more than 30 years of expert cosmetic and restorative dentistry. There’s a reason Dr. Handelsman is Annapolis’s top dentist. To learn more about dental implants and how they could replace your missing teeth, call us at (410) 268-3347 to schedule a consultation.