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A dental implant is an artificial tooth that replaces a tooth that has been taken out. Implants are natural-looking, can provide support for dentures, and do not affect the teeth bordering them. They are as stable as your real teeth and protect you from the loss of jawbone, which occurs when you lose teeth.
You may need an implant if you have lost a tooth because of tooth decay or an accident. To receive an implant, you need to have healthy gums and enough bone to support the implant.
After your tooth has been removed:
You may have swelling and/or tenderness for a few days after the surgery, and your dentist may give you pain medicine. Your dentist may also suggest that you eat only soft foods for a period of time.
After you have an implant, it stays in. You do not have to remove it for cleaning or soaking, as you do dentures.
It is just as important to brush and floss implants as it is with natural teeth. If bacteria build up on implants, you can end up with gum disease and bone loss.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry|
|Last Revised||June 7, 2013|
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