You work hard to keep your mouth healthy and intact. But not everyone can maintain their natural teeth throughout their lifetime. If you have one or more missing teeth, you know how uncomfortable daily tasks like eating and talking can be.

Luckily, there are options available to give you full mouth function and a natural look. Consider getting dental implants to restore a healthy smile.

Dental Implants Basics

Dental implants act as permanent replacements for missing teeth. Your dentist will anchor a "root" into your mouth (much like a natural tooth) and attach a manufactured tooth crown. Dental implants are great for one missing tooth or a full set of missing teeth.

But why should you choose dental implants over other options (such as no treatment or removable devices)? See why this has become a popular and effective treatment for patients over the past 50 years.

Dental Implants Benefits

Maintain Existing Teeth

When you get a dental implant, it supports your existing teeth around it. Without substitutes to fill the gaps, your natural teeth can shift, crowd and even fall out easier. Gaps can also lead to periodontal disease. Complete your smile with tooth replacements and enjoy more natural teeth for years to come.

Live a Normal Life

Brush, floss and use mouth rinse normally with dental implants. In fact, you can do all the things you did before once you get dental implants. They're the most natural alternative for missing teeth, allowing you to think about more important things. You may even forget they're there!

Reduce Strain on Other Teeth

Since dental implants stand alone, they reduce the strain on other existing teeth. If you need many teeth replaced, dental implants can team up with bridges, crowns and partial dentures by serving as an anchor point. Because of their individual nature, your dentist won't have to file down surrounding teeth to install dental implants.

Show Off Your Smile

Other treatment options may leave you feeling self-conscious about your smile. Feel confident knowing your smile looks just as good-or maybe better-than it did before.

What to Expect When Planning Dental Implant Surgery 

If you decide to receive dental implant surgery, it's helpful to know what to prepare for prior to your surgery appointment. Chances are good that you will receive anaesthesia. In this case, your dentist will probably tell you to refrain from eating or drinking 12 hours before your appointment.

Plan for a family member or friend to pick you up after the surgery, as you will not be in proper shape to drive yourself home. You will probably feel dizzy and confused for an hour or two after you wake up from anaesthesia. 

Recovery from dental surgery is similar to recovery for wisdom teeth removal. You will have to eat soft foods such as soup, yoghurt or apple sauce for up to two weeks after surgery. Be sure to ice your mouth for 15 minutes, then rest for 15 minutes and repeat. Do this for the first few days when your mouth is the most swollen. After that, ice every hour or so until the swelling goes away. 

If your surgeon did not use stitches that dissolve on their own, you will have to make another appointment for 10 days after surgery so the surgeon can remove your stitches. They will also inspect your mouth for delayed healing or infection. 

Once you have a follow-up exam, your doctor will tell you when it's appropriate to start eating more crunchy foods, like crisps or hard candies. 

Talk with Your Dentist

Dental implants are a smart option for many patients, but they may not be right for you. Talk with your dentist about your personal situation and determine what's best for your circumstances.