Today, despite the numerous improvements made to dental care and the fact that it has become universally more affordable, it still means that there are millions of people losing their teeth. The most common cause of tooth loss is tooth decay, injury, and periodontal conditions.
Until recently, the only form of treatment for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. However, modern technology and dentistry now mean that most people can opt for implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
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As the term suggests, dental implants are replacement tooth roots. The implants are designed to offer a strong foundation for permanent teeth, or they can be a foundation for removable teeth. These can be custom-made to match your natural teeth’ shape, size, and color.
Can Everyone Get Dental Implants?
Well, it depends on several factors, including general health. People with gum disease and other health conditions, such as diabetes and heavy smokers, are often not suitable candidates. Additionally, older patients or those with poor oral health may require additional evaluation before getting dental implants. Regardless of their age, however, the procedure has many benefits, and the success rate is usually very high.
During the procedure, you will be under the care of a dentist and a dental surgeon. While it is relatively quick and only involves local anesthesia, some minor surgery will be necessary. In addition, bone grafts and membranes are implanted at the time of tooth extraction. These materials come from a donor bank and stimulate the body to produce bone. The recovery time for these implants depends on the number of implants placed.
In these cases, extra bone may be needed to ensure the procedure’s success. Bone grafts are an alternative for those with poor bone density or quality. Bone grafts can be made using extraction fromother body parts or taken from your jaw.
How Long Does The Procedure Take?
It is strongly advised that people expecting to undergo the procedure should be sure to have enough time to go through the process. The initial surgical procedure will take about an hour and will likely cause minor discomfort. However, you may experience some minor bleeding at the implant site.
Your dentist may prescribe pain medication to help alleviate your discomfort. The doctor will also restrict your diet to soft foods for the first few days. You may also need stitches removed by your dentist. However, self-dissolving stitches won’t require you to get them removed.
If you have lost several teeth, you may have atrophy of your jawbone. The jawbone deteriorates due to lack of use, and you may need a bone graft before dental implantscan be implanted. Otherwise, you can choose to have a partial denture or a complete set of dental implants in one visit. Once the implants are placed, the jawbone will eventually grow around it, providing a solid foundation for the artificial tooth.
A small opening is made in the gum tissue at the implant site to receive an implant. The dental surgeon then inserts the titanium posts into the jawbone. Afterward, the gum tissue is sutured over the implant, and a protective cover screw is placed on the implant site. This is done to allow the implant to integrate with the jawbone and prevent further decay. The healing process, known as osseointegration, takes three to six months.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
Unlike traditional bridges, dental implants bond with your jawbone. Once secured, your dentist will attach a small connector post called an abutment to hold your new tooth. A model of your bite is created, which your dentist will then use to fabricate the replacement tooth, called a crown. This replacement tooth will look and function like your real one. Implants have numerous benefits over traditional bridges, including being solid and stable.
Offer a stable foundation
Dental implants provide a stable foundation so while dentures tend to slip around; implants are firmly fixed in place. As a result, you can eat and speak like you usually would without hesitation. You can eat the foods you love again with dental implants.
Implants also prevent the adjacent teeth from drifting into the space. Missing teeth can lead to facial structure and speech issues. If these aren’t addressed immediately, the resulting gaps can increase stress and depression.
Restore your natural smile
Dental implants can restore a natural smile and confidence. Not only do dental implants look and function like your natural teeth, but they also prevent bone loss, keeping your jaw healthy.
Another significant benefit of dental implants is their durability. While they may be a bit expensive, dental implants are a long-term solution for missing teeth. Dentures require regular replacement and repair, which can add up to thousands of dollars. Dental implants can last a lifetime. In addition, they eliminate dietary restrictions and concerns.
Another significant advantage of dental implants is that they do not need to be removed. Just like natural teeth, dental implants require daily oral care. Dental implants are not susceptible to decay or bacterial infection, unlike dentures and bridges. Additionally, implants are non-toxic.
Dentures can lead to inflammation and infection, and the empty socket can be a breeding ground for bacteria. With implants, you can clean the area without worrying about bacteria.
The decision to get dental implants will primarily depend on your dentist. Dentists will first run a few tests to ensure that your jaw and the bone are adequately fit for the procedure. Once that has been determined, the doctor will then recommend implants. However, if not, the doctor may recommend an alternative based on their experience and the condition of your jaw.
If in doubt, always get a second opinion. See a few experienced doctors before deciding to get an implant.