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So, what is an implant?

A dental implant is an artificial root and tooth, which replaces a missing tooth. Much like a hip or knee replacement, this medical device replaces a missing natural tooth or teeth. Specifically, an implant tooth is comprised of 3 parts: the artificial root, or Implant, an intermediary stage, or Abutment, and a special type of implant Crown which replaces the visible part of the missing tooth. Your Doctor works closely with an expert surgeon to ensure exacting placement of your implant. When the implant has been deemed successful, your doctor will complete the restoration of the missing tooth.

"How does the process work?"
Your Doctor will make a special appliance which will guide the surgeon's placement and location of your new tooth. Just as it is important to plant a row of trees correctly so that in time they grow properly, straight and look good together, this appliance, or Stent, is made with great precision so the resulting new tooth will not only blend and function well with your other teeth, but also will be easy to clean and maintain.

"How long does it take for me to get my tooth?"
It usually takes 4 to 6 months for an implant to be ready to restore. Expect to add a few weeks after that for your Doctor to make the new tooth/teeth.

"Do I need to brush it?
Can I get gum disease or a cavity?" Even though your new tooth replacement is not a natural tooth, it still requires home care from you. Responsible flossing and brushing are important, as are regular professional cleanings. Like natural teeth, Implant teeth can suffer bone loss if they are not maintained regularly. Other factors such as smoking and frequent alcohol intake will be detrimental, too. Tooth grinding in particular can result in bone being lost around an implant tooth. Your Doctor can make a night appliance to lessen the effect of tooth grinding.

"How long will the Implant tooth last?"
With responsible home care and regular professional maintenance, success rates can exceed 95% over 5 to 10 years.