Tooth loss is an extremely common issue that millions of Americans suffer from every year. As you grow older, various issues like natural wear and tear and dental disease weaken your teeth, which makes them more susceptible to tooth loss. You may also have to get tooth extractions done to deal with various issues.
Dental implants are metallic frameworks or posts that the dentist lodges into the jawbone just under the gums of the missing tooth. This metallic framework, usually made of titanium, acts as the tooth’s root and becomes a part of your body. The dentist then uses the post to plant a dental crown or dental bridge. This is the most effective and stable means of permanent tooth replacement. Contact our team to discover the advantages of these prosthetics.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small, thin posts that are made to be placed in the jawbone so that they can act as artificial tooth roots. They’re shaped like screws, and they’re made out of biocompatible materials like titanium and zirconia. Once an implant post is in your jaw, a process called osseointegration takes place. This is where the post essentially fuses with the surrounding bone, ensuring that your new teeth will always stay in place and will have chewing strength comparable to natural teeth.
The 4-Step Dental Implant Process
The dental implant process isn’t the same for everyone, but you can expect it to follow these four basic steps:
First comes the initial consultation, where our team performs a comprehensive examination of your mouth to confirm your candidacy for the procedure.
The next step is dental implant surgery, where the posts are inserted into your jaw. Unlike other practices, we can complete implant surgery in-house.
Afterward, osseointegration will take about 3 to 6 months. A metal piece called an abutment can be placed on the implant posts after the mouth has healed.
With your abutments in place, we’ll take impressions of your smile and create the final restoration. Once we’ve made any necessary finishing touches, we’ll use the abutments to attach the restoration to the implant posts.
Benefits of Dental Implants
The best dental implants give you the following benefits:
Cosmetic Appearance: Dental implants become a part of the body because your jawbone naturally grows around the metallic framework. As such, a dental implant acts like your actual tooth. The dental crown that’s planted over the dental implant can be sculpted to look like the best version of your own tooth.
Speech and Eating Enhancement: If you’re missing some teeth, you may have problems with speech. Dentures make the problem even worse because they can potentially slip out while speaking, which can be embarrassing. A tooth implant can improve your speech and there’s no risk of it slipping out, so you can speak normally. The same goes for when you’re eating. You can chew your food properly, and you don’t have to worry about your implants coming off like dentures.
Comfort: The best part about dental implants is that they become a part of your body since they’re lodged into your jawbone. So, you don’t even feel them over time and there’s no risk of them coming off.
Your Original Teeth Are Not Altered: Most effective dental replacements require the dentist to alter your current teeth. For example, if you want a dental bridge, the dentist will have to shave the enamel off the surrounding teeth to fit them for dental crowns. If you go for dentures, the dentist won’t have to make changes, but they’ll also be unstable. Dental implants are completely stable and none of your surrounding teeth have to be altered.
Convenience: The biggest issue with dentures is that you have to constantly take them off while sleeping or eating. You also have a special maintenance routine for your dentures. With dental implants, you simply have to take care of them the way you take care of your other teeth (i.e., follow your regular oral hygiene routine).
Who Dental Implants Can Help
Anyone can get dental implants, as long as you’re healthy enough and can get a dental extraction and affordable oral surgery as well. The only requirement for dental implants is that you should have healthy gums and enough bone structure under the gums of the missing tooth.
When you lose your teeth, the bone structure also starts wearing away gradually. Over an extended period, you may not have enough bone to support dental implants. In that case, you may have to opt for bone graft surgery to facilitate bone regeneration before you can get dental implants.
Dental implants may also be ill-advised for people who suffer from heart disease, diabetes, or those who have undergone radiation therapy. However, you should discuss this with your dentist and follow their recommendations.
Missing One Tooth
A single missing tooth can easily be replaced with just one dental implant. It will serve as an artificial root for a single dental crown that has been expertly designed to resemble your natural tooth, right down to the shape and color. Implant crowns feel so natural that it’s not unusual to momentarily forget which tooth was the one you needed to replace.
Missing Multiple Teeth
Two dental implants can support a dental bridge to replace three or more teeth in a row. The advantage of using implant bridges instead of traditional bridges lies in the fact that we don’t have to make any alterations to your remaining teeth to place the restoration; the implant posts will provide all the necessary support.
Missing All of Your Teeth
Dental implants are versatile enough to replace all of the teeth missing in a single arch. We just need to insert a minimal number of posts – usually between four and six – into your jaw so that they can support a full denture. Unlike traditional dentures, implant dentures always stay in place and can be used to comfortably chew virtually any kind of food.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
The best dental implants are extremely expensive. In most cases, a single tooth implant will cost between $3,000 to $4,500. However, since this is a one-time fixed cost, most people find it to be completely worth it. You should, however, note that dental implants are rarely covered by insurance.
Best Dental Implant Maintenance
The following is an overview of how you can maintain the best dental implants so that they last a lifetime:
Brush your teeth twice a day with a dentist-recommended toothpaste.
Floss thoroughly between your teeth every day.
Use an antibacterial mouthwash to rinse your mouth and get rid of all bacteria.
Seek regular dental cleaning sessions.
Dental Implants FAQs
How Successful are Dental Implants?
How Strong are Dental Implants Compared to Real Teeth? Are Dental Implants as Good as the Natural Tooth?
Are Dental Implants Noticeable?
How Do Dental Implants Work?
The best dental implants have an incredibly high success rate of 98%. Anyone can get dental implants, and they rarely cause any side effects or complications. The only situation in which a dental implant won’t be suitable for you is if you don’t have enough bone structure in the area of the missing tooth. But the dentist can remedy that with a bone graft.
Dental implants are extremely strong. In fact, dental implants are just as good as natural teeth because the dentist lodges the titanium frame into your jawbone, making it a regular part of your body. If you take care of them, dental implants can even last a lifetime.
Dental implants are not at all noticeable. The implants themselves aren’t even visible because they’re just metallic roots for the dental crown. The dental crown is visible on top, but it’s sculpted to look just like your real tooth so no one will know the difference.
The following steps take you through the entire dental implant procedure so that you understand how they work:
The best dental implant dentist will examine your teeth and study your conditions to determine the correct treatment plan for your needs.
The dentist will attach a small titanium post, which serves as the tooth root, into the jawbone of the missing tooth. For 6 to 12 weeks, the jawbone will heal around the titanium post so that the post becomes an anchored part of your body.
In the next session with the dental implant dentist, they’ll connect another metal post to the titanium root.
The dentist will take an accurate impression of your bite alignment, teeth size, and teeth shade to design the perfect dental crown for you. The dental crown will be prepared in around two weeks. Until then, the dentist may attach a temporary crown over the dental implant.
Once the dental crown or bridge is constructed, the dentist will attach it to the connector post and then make some final adjustments. The result will look exactly like your real set of teeth.