Clopper’s Mill Dental Care has been the Germantown dental implant expert for years, giving area residents the most stable and most permanent prosthetic teeth solutions so they can show off their best smiles. In this blog, we’re going to answer some of your most frequently asked questions about dental implants, to help you understand the process and benefits of implants better than ever before.

What are dental implants made of?

Dental implants are made of titanium, a biocompatible material that is mounted to the jawbone. Titanium is incredibly sturdy and robust, and will help keep teeth and gums around the implant in proper position.

What is a dental implant procedure like?

Placing a dental implant is a simple surgical procedure in itself. However, the entire dental implant process can take months to become permanent.

First, your dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth, and take multiple dental X-rays in order to make an accurate model of your teeth and jaw. Then, your dentist will prep the area where the dental implant will be placed by removing the old tooth or teeth, and, in some cases, by performing a bone graft procedure to replace damaged bone tissue. Once your jawbone heals from grafting, an oral surgeon will place the titanium post (which replaces the root of the tooth) into your jawbone.

At this point, your jaw will need at least a few months to heal and merge with the titanium post. This process, called osseointegration, can take up to six or seven months, but is the most critical component of a successful dental implant procedure.

Once osseointegration is complete, your oral surgeon will place the abutment—the piece that connects the post to the crown. Your oral surgeon will carefully place your gum tissue around, but not over, the abutment, meaning the abutment will most likely be visible and exposed until the prosthetic tooth is mounted. While this might not be visually appealing to you, your gum tissue needs at least a week or two to heal before the prosthetic tooth can be placed.

Finally, once your jaw is strong enough to support it, your prosthetic tooth will be attached to the abutment. At this point, your mouth will need some time to adjust to the new tooth, so facial swelling, bruising, and bleeding gums may occur. Fortunately, once the bleeding and swelling subsides, you’ll have a permanent and beautiful solution to your dental problems!

Why not just get dentures or a bridge instead?

We get it—the dental implant process is a lengthy one. However, your patience will ultimately pay off, as dental implants can last decades longer than any sort of bridges or dentures, and they need little to no maintenance to stay beautiful and white! All you need to do is continue your normal oral health habits like brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash.

Do dental implants decay like real teeth?

No, dental implants do not decay like real teeth. The titanium base and prosthetic tooth are impervious to cavities, and will keep their luster and color for years to come!