Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants
Dental implants provide a realistic alternative to missing tooth roots and restore full functionality and aesthetics of natural teeth, while at the same time protecting jaw bone health by slowing deterioration of bone structures in your jawbone.
At your consultation, an oral surgeon or dentist who specializes in conditions affecting the mouth, jaw and face (an orthodontist or periodontist) will evaluate your needs and ascertain whether you qualify as an ideal candidate for dental implants.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are metal screws made of biocompatible titanium that serve to replace missing tooth roots. Over time, their post and bone fuse together and create a solid base for any artificial teeth you might choose to replace it with.
Your oral surgeon will begin implant surgery by opening up the gum flap and exposing the jawbone, before drilling and gradually widening a hole at the site of toothlessness. A surgical guide based on CT scans may then help your surgeon precisely place an implant without harming important facial structures like inferior alveolar nerve.
Once an implant has been successfully placed, your dentist will cover it with tissue and secure it using a cover screw. Over the following six months or so, a temporary crown or denture may be placed over it for protection; during this time it’s essential that oral hygiene instructions be observed, including brushing and flossing around this area regularly and refraining from smoking to speed healing time and reduce your risk for complications.
After six months, your dentist will uncover and install an abutment onto the implant to connect it with your replacement tooth(s). Now, you can enjoy natural-looking and feeling replacement teeth! Depending on what kind of restoration is planned for you, he or she may fabricate a crown which covers this abutment.
How do Dental Implants Work?
Dental implants offer superior durability and natural-appearing results compared to bridges or dentures because they replace both root and crown of missing teeth, making them more reliable than their alternatives. When implanting, a titanium post will be placed where your original missing root used to be and given time to integrate into the bone via an osseointegration process – giving the titanium screw time to bond with bone cells in your jawbone over several months before finally becoming part of you jawbone!
Once the implant has healed, your oral surgeon will attach an abutment to its head. This connector serves to securely fasten artificial teeth to the implant. Depending on your case, different abutments have different functions; some even feature internal hexagonal connectors to allow soft tissue healing around them while simulating natural tooth structure.
Your dental team will then affix permanent teeth or implants onto the abutments, keeping in mind that to remain healthy your implant requires ongoing visits and good oral hygiene practices.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants are permanent tooth replacements that look, feel and function just like real teeth. You can brush and floss just like normal to maintain them; in fact, dental implants may even be more comfortable than bridges and partial dentures due to being securely fixed into place within your mouth; improving speech and eating capabilities in addition to improving speech clarity.
Once a tooth is lost, its bone supporting it begins to slowly deteriorate over time, leading to loose facial skin, drooping jowls and sunken features. Dental implants help combat this by replacing lost bone mass while keeping chewing pressure high enough to preserve bone density and retain high chewing pressure levels which help preserve this loss of density in bone mass.
Dental implants offer superior durability and stability compared to other tooth restoration options, boasting an over 95% success rate. Their long-term success depends on an individual’s commitment to good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits; those who suffer from uncontrolled chronic disorders, heavy smokers or have undergone head and neck radiation have an increased risk for implant failure; however these cases should be evaluated on an individual basis for evaluation purposes.
Are Dental Implants Painful?
Answers vary, but generally speaking dental implants should not be painful. Local anesthesia will numb your gums and jaw bone during the procedure and should alleviate any discomfort; as soon as it wears off however, you may experience some pressure or pain that usually subsides within 72 hours.
Ice packs and saltwater rinses may help alleviate any pain or discomfort after surgery, in addition to taking any prescribed painkillers from your dentist. Furthermore, it’s crucial that you get enough restful sleep; your body heals best during restful slumber. It is wise to avoid strenuous activity such as sports during this time and take time off work during this phase of healing. But to make sure nothing unexpected happens, it’s best to contact a Doctor who can treat TMJ as soon as you experience some locking in your jaw.
Finally, it is imperative to disclose any medical conditions or medications you are taking with your dentist. Certain drugs can interfere with how quickly your body heals after an implant surgery procedure and could even result in implant failure.
Dental implants offer long-term solutions to tooth loss, with numerous advantages and benefits. Speak to your dentist now about whether this could be right for you! They will give you detailed information about the process as well as cost comparisons of various replacement options available to you. They may also discuss any additional procedures necessary such as bone grafts or sinus lifts that can ensure you achieve an ideal result.
Are Dental Implants Affordable?
Dental implant cost can often be a source of anxiety among patients. But it’s important to keep in mind that its price resembles that of any surgical procedure: you are paying for both expertise of the surgeon and facility usage costs. Furthermore, implants are permanent tooth replacement options, making them more costly than options like dentures and bridges.
As part of the first step to determining the cost of dental implants, schedule a consultation meeting with your dentist. At this meeting, they’ll give an estimate and explain each stage of the process; during this meeting you can also pose any questions and determine whether implants are right for you.
After your consultation, your dentist will conduct diagnostics to make sure you’re an ideal candidate for surgery, including X-rays and dental examination. They may even recommend bone graft therapy to strengthen and prepare your jawbone for implants.
Dental implants have become increasingly popular, yet aren’t covered by insurance plans. However, several strategies can help make the procedure affordable; many oral surgeons and dentists offer payment plans which are typically less costly than loans and can be paid back over time. Furthermore, you could use flexible spending accounts (FSA), health reimbursement accounts or health savings accounts to cover part or all of the cost.
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
Dental implants can be an ideal solution for patients missing one or more teeth, providing greater comfort and stability than traditional dentures while helping restore jaw strength and beauty. Furthermore, implants stimulate and maintain bone density preventing further deterioration around where teeth were lost. Unfortunately not everyone can receive dental implants; certain factors may disqualify someone such as smoking, medical conditions such as diabetes or blood clotting disorders, radiation therapy treatments or alcoholism inducing situations which prevent someone from receiving implants.
To determine your suitability for dental implants, your dentist will perform a comprehensive oral exam and take X-rays or computer tomography scans of the area in which you want an implant placed. They may also take into account any medications and supplements you’re currently taking (both over-the-counter drugs and supplements) along with family medical history that might impede healing or impair the success of implant placement.
No age restrictions exist when it comes to dental implants, but you must maintain good oral hygiene, healthy gums, and enough bone in your jaw to support an implant. Furthermore, you must commit to practicing good oral hygiene practices daily such as brushing and flossing your teeth daily, scheduling regular dental cleaning appointments with your dentist and visiting a periodontist or prosthodontist for regular check-ups.