Dental implants are an excellent solution for those who have lost a tooth or teeth as a result of an injury, periodontal disease, or any other reason. The implant serves as an artificial tooth root that is placed into the jaw which holds a bridge or replacement tooth. Candidates for dental implants must have sufficient bone in their jaw in order to provide support to the implant. Patients with gum disease may eventually require a dental implant; however, the most ideal candidate has healthy gums and good general and oral health. When cared for properly, dental implants have a success rate as high as 98 percent. As with patients with natural teeth, those with dental implants should be regularly brushing, flossing, and getting checkups at the dentist.
Dental Implants Procedure
Many patients choose dental implants because of convenience and comfort. As one of the most conservative alternatives to replacing missing teeth, dental implants are an excellent choice for many people. Implants are biocompatible posts that replace the roots of missing teeth. Designed to attach to the jaw, both physically and biologically, implants are the foundation for a natural-looking restoration.
The development of implants is considered to be amongst the most influential advancements in the dental industry. Implants are composed of titanium and other materials that are well-suited to the body and serve as an anchor for the replacement teeth. In general, there are three main stages associated with dental implants:
- The implant is placed into the jawbone
- Osseointegration takes place (the implant combines with the bone around it until the implant is fully integrated
- The artificial tooth (the dental crown) is placed on the implant or in cases involving multiple teeth, the bridge or dentures are placed on top of the implants.
The color of the patient’s new teeth will match the color of their natural teeth. In addition to the look and appearance, the replacement teeth will feel and function like natural teeth. The American Dental Association deems the following two types of implants to be safe:
- Endosteal: meaning in the bone, this is the most popular type of implant used today. Dentists will surgically place cylinders, blades, or screws in the jawbone. Typically utilized for those patients with removable dentures, crowns, or bridges, each implant is able to hold one or more prosthetic teeth.
- Subperiosteal: meaning on the bone, this type uses metal framework posts placed on top of the jaw that sticks out through the gum line. Patients with minimal bone height or those who cannot wear conventional dentures are often perfect candidates for these implants.
Working with a dentist, patients are able to discuss their current problems and develop a plan to improve oral health, general health, and the appearance of their smile.
As one of the most popular methods used today, dental implants can last a lifetime if cared for properly. The majority of patients will only require a local anesthetic during the procedure. For the most part, patients leave the procedure with mild soreness and are typically treated with over-the-counter medications to relieve the pain.
The following are some of the most essential benefits of dental implants:
- Smile: the appearance of the teeth are natural and eventually become permanent, making for a beautiful smile
- Eating: functioning like natural teeth, those with implants are able to eat anything without feeling pain
- Comfort: implants become a part of your natural smile, with no need to take anything out of your mouth to care for them like dentures.
- Oral Health: oral hygiene is improved and nearby teeth are able to remain intact
- Durability: implants can last a lifetime if cared for adequately
- Convenience: implants are placed in one day and the crown placed on the implant only takes two more visits.
Dental implants are an excellent solution for those looking to replace their missing tooth or teeth. With durability and convenience, patients can feel confident knowing that they will have a beautiful, natural looking smile.