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Posted on: July 9, 2020
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
The CDC reports that more than 50% of people between the ages of 20 and 64 have lost one or more teeth. Among those aged 40 to 64, more than 65% have lost at least one tooth. And, nearly 20% of adults 65 and older are missing all of their teeth.
Dental implants could be ideal for you if you’ve lost one or more teeth from tooth decay, an injury or an illness. Using your jawbone, gum and general health information, your dentist can help you choose the best treatment for your needs.
What Are Tooth Implants?
For replacing lost teeth, tooth implants are a permanent option that functions, looks and feels like your real teeth. They’re a good alternative for people who are uncomfortable with dentures or bridges and who wish to maintain healthy bone structure.
There are two versions of implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. Subperiosteal implants are secured above your jawbone and under your gums, while endosteal implants are inserted into your jawbone. There are three parts to both types of dental implants:
Body: Also referred to as the post, this part is constructed of durable and lightweight titanium, which the body rarely rejects. The post looks similar to a screw and is inserted below your gum line.
Abutment: This part serves as an attachment point for the crown. Sitting just above the gumline, it screws into the post.
Crown: Also called the prosthesis, the crown is the visible part that’s secured to the abutment. It’s created to match the color of your remaining teeth.
Dental Implants: How Do They Work?
Dental implant posts function like imitation tooth roots because they fuse with the jawbone to create a strong base for the crowns. Each post can provide enough support to hold one crown, or even multiple crowns that are attached to a bridge.
What Happens During the Tooth Implants Procedure?
Surgically inserting dental implants is one of the most predictable and safest procedures available. Typically an outpatient procedure, dental implants require several steps and months to complete. The reason is that your gums and jawbone require healing time in between the stages. For example, they need to heal following a tooth removal, before the post can be put in. You can familiarize yourself with the procedure before your dentist begins the process.
Getting a Bone Graft
Bone grafting may be necessary for you to get tooth implants if you have bone loss or weakness in your jawbone. This step can make your jawline stronger so it can support the post and increase the likelihood of the surgery being successful. Your dentist might use a bone alternative that promotes bone growth, or take natural bone from somewhere else on your body. While extensive grafting could take months, minor grafting might be performed during the surgery.
Placing the Dental Implant
During your surgery, the dentist will make an incision in your gums to expose the jawbone. Then, a hole will be drilled into the bone and the post will be screwed in. Next, the dentist will close the incision with stitches. It will take several months for your jawbone to grow around and bond to the implant before the abutment can be attached.
Securing the Abutment
After the post fuses with your jawbone, your dentist can perform minor surgery to secure the abutment. It requires reopening the gums so that the implant is slightly exposed. With the abutment attached, the gums are closed around it, leaving the top partially revealed. You’ll wait the next couple of weeks for your gums to heal.
Fastening the Crown
When your gums heal after the second surgery, impressions will be made of your natural teeth and mouth so that a lab can make your crown. A fixed crown will be permanently screwed or cemented to the abutment, while a removable crown will simply snap onto the abutment for daily removal and cleaning.
What Will Happen After Getting Dental Implants?
After your tooth implant procedure, you can expect to have some minor bruising, swelling, pain and bleeding, as with any dental surgery. Your dentist can give you a prescription for pain medication, as well as instructions for reducing the swelling.
Are There Advantages and Disadvantages of Tooth Implants?
If you want to replace missing teeth, dental implants are a great choice. While they’re associated with many benefits, it’s important to know that there also are some disadvantages.
Comfort: Since your jawbone grows around tooth implants, they offer the same level of comfort as your real teeth.
Convenience: Implants are permanent, so no adhesives are necessary.
Improved Speech: It’s easy to speak clearly because implants are designed to stay put and fit correctly.
Natural Appearance: Since implants are customized for each person, they’re excellent clones of real teeth.
Optimal Oral Health: Your natural teeth don’t need to be altered in the process, and you clean implants the same way as you do your existing teeth.
Durability: With proper oral hygiene, implants can last a lifetime.
Cost: One implant could cost thousands of dollars, and few dental insurers will cover it. However, your dentist might make it more affordable with payment options.
Surgery: Surgical procedures always have some risks, such as nerve damage, tooth damage, infections, complications and jaw fractions, and some people have adverse reactions to anesthesia.
Future Expenses: Sometimes, implant crowns have to be replaced, which may be costly and not included in dental benefits.
Time: It can take several months to complete the dental implant process.
How Can Local Dentists Assist with Dental Needs?
Performing the dental implants procedure requires special training and experience. Dentists must be able to precisely assess the ability of your jawbone to support the implants and insert them correctly. You should choose a reputable, board-certified dentist with the appropriate credentials.
Our dental experts offer compassionate, budget-friendly dental health care with an array of services that includes dental implants. Schedule a consultation today.