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Dental implants can be the solution for many of the issues that people have with their teeth and smile. In most cases, dental implants are the ultimate solution to replacing missing teeth in terms of durability and maintenance. But, as with any surgical procedure, patients tend to have a slew of questions beforehand. At Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry, we want to make the dental implant procedure as simple and comfortable as possible for our patients. Continue reading the Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry Guide to Dental Implants to learn all there is to know about dental implants. 

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants are metal, screw-like posts that are implanted into the jawbone, underneath the gums, that replace the roots of teeth. These screw-like posts are then covered with porcelain dental crowns that look and feel just like real teeth. Patients who have had dental implant surgery are often impressed by how authentic the artificial teeth feel when speaking, drinking, and eating. 

How Long Does A Dental Implant Procedure Take? 

Dental implant procedures on average take 1 to 2 hours per implant or 1 to 2 hours per “tooth”. In most cases, this will only be the screw-like post and not the final dental crown. After the implants are performed, most dentists will wait approximately 3 months before placing the dental crown. This 90 day wait period is to ensure that the implant is properly healed and fused to the bone before the final artificial tooth is placed.

What Are Dental Implants Made Of? 

There are two parts to dental implants: the roots, and the crowns. For dental implants, the tooth roots are made of titanium alloy, which is the same material used for shoulder implants, knee implants, hip implants, and all other sorts of medical procedures. Titanium is used for dental implants because it’s one of the most biocompatible metals currently available. 

On the other hand, the crowns, which are the visible part of the dental implants, are made of porcelain. Porcelain is great for artificial teeth since it’s durable, long-lasting, and can be closely color-matched to the rest of your teeth. Porcelain is the same material used for veneers, another popular artificial tooth procedure. 

Are Dental Implants Painful? 

Thanks to the local anesthetic we use during dental implant procedures, you should feel no pain whatsoever as an incision is made into the gums and the implants placed into the jawbone. The most discomfort you may experience during your dental implant procedure is a bit of pressure in the area where the root is being implanted. 

How Long Do Dental Implants Last? 

With regular brushing, flossing, and biannual dentist visits, the dental implant screws themselves can last a lifetime. These are surgical implants that are built to be as durable as possible and heal into the jawbone. Additionally, dental crowns can last up to 20 years with the same kind of proper care. After this period, the crown may need to be replaced due to general wear and tear that can occur, just like standard veneers. 

How Long After Dental Implants Can I Eat Normally? 

It only takes about a week for the dental implants to be healed to the point where patients can return to their full, normal diet. Whether or not you can return to your full diet is something that should be dictated by your dentist, so make sure to attend your follow-up appointments to ensure that the dental implants have healed properly. Only return to a normal diet once your dentist clears you to do so. 

Teeth In A Day — The Real Story

Teeth in a day is a common phrase surrounding dental implant procedures. The concept of teeth in a day is not entirely accurate, as these services often are not meant to be permanent. While the implants are healing to the bone, many dentists will offer a temporary mold to cover the implant post. At Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer these temporary molds while the implant post heals, but want to be abundantly clear that these are not your permanent teeth, and you will have to return in 90 days once the implant or implants have properly healed. 

Are Dental Implants Right For You? 

Dental implants are the right choice for many people who are unhappy with their smile or teeth, but not everyone. Here are a few criteria that make you an eligible candidate for a dental implant procedure. 

  • You have one or more missing teeth
  • Your jawbone is fully grown and developed 
  • There is adequate bone to secure the implants, or you are eligible for bone graft
  • You are unable or unwilling to wear dentures
  • You would like to improve your speech 
  • You are willing to commit to the process, which spans multiple months, or years depending on how many implants are required

If this criterion describes you, then you could be a perfect candidate for dental implant surgery. Contact Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry to make an appointment today! 

Choose Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry For Dental Implants in Central Texas 

At Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. D and the rest of the team have years of experience performing life-changing dental implant procedures for our patients. If you’re looking to improve your self-confidence and smile and live in the Austin, TX area, consider dental implants from Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry. If you’re interested in dental implants in Austin and the surrounding areas, perform a virtual consultation to learn more about the procedure. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or give us a call today.

Get started on your healthy, beautiful smile today!