Dental implants involve a procedure where lost or extracted teeth undergo a transformation whereby a titanium post is surgically placed in gum tissue; following a healing period, a restoration is permanently affixed to the implant allowing the closest thing to a biological tooth to restore the ability to eat, speak, and smile comfortably and with confidence.
The aspect of this procedure that is unsuitable for children involves bone maturity. Since the child is still in a growing stage, the stability of the implant would be at risk. It is critical to the success of the implant that it remains stable and allows bone to graft to the implant. With a child there is growth, and with growth comes movement.
Once the child has achieved bone maturity where growth is no longer an issue, they become suitable for the implant process.
When adults undergo dental implants, they do so with the understanding that without their complete cooperation, their financial and time investment may be for naught. It is imperative to keep the implant area clean to prevent infection, the leading cause of implant failure.
Tobacco use is discouraged … that includes all forms as smoking is another reason why implants do not succeed.
Once the implant has been placed in gum tissue, a healing period ensues allowing the bone and implant to integrate. This process has been coined osseointegration and this merging provides a stable base for the final restoration in much the same way as the roots of a tooth support the natural tooth above the gum line.
Once healed, the implant (which has been covered for its protection) is uncovered; abutments are placed that will be used to cement the final covering in place.
The final restoration that your dentist has fabricated specifically for this use will match the shape, size and color of surrounding teeth making the replacement tooth indistinguishable from biological teeth.
Caring for your implant is the same as what you do for all your teeth … brush at least twice each day with a fluoridated tooth paste; floss daily; and visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning and dental exam. Your dentist will be able to monitor your implant to enable you to enjoy the advantages you have earned – eating the foods you love, speaking clearly, and smiles to last a lifetime.