Did you know that over forty million Americans have lost all of their teeth as a result of tooth decay, facial trauma, and gum disease? Regardless of the cause, it is imperative that you replace missing teeth right away. Otherwise, your oral health will suffer. Tooth loss is not just a mere cosmetic problem. Besides ruining your smile, tooth loss will cause your existing teeth to shift out of position and fill in the empty space. Unfortunately, this can lead to teeth misalignment, bite irregularities, and pain when chewing. Luckily, implant dentistry can help restore your smile and oral function.
If this is your first time to hear about implant dentistry, read up. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants.
Find out why so many people are requesting them.
What are dental implants?
Everyone is more familiar with dentures and dental bridges, but not many people are familiar with dental implant surgery. If you don’t learn about dental implants, you’re robbing yourself of a naturally attractive smile. Contrary to popular belief, a dental implant is not a tooth. It’s a biocompatible post that’s designed to look like a screw, and it functions by mimicking the job of natural tooth roots.
How is it done?
Dental implant placement involves surgery. Your oral surgeon will make an incision in your gum tissues. Opening up your gum tissues is necessary so that your oral surgeon can gain access to your jawbone. Next, tiny holes are drilled into your jawbone to accommodate the implants. When the implants are settled in place, your oral surgeon will close the incision around the implants to allow them to fuse with your jawbone. This fusion is called osseointegration. This process can take several months but don’t worry; once osseointegration is complete, you’ll have a solid and steady foundation for your dental crowns.
After osseointegration, your oral surgeon will schedule another appointment to attach the abutments over the implants. After the abutments, the dental crowns follow suit. A dental implant has three parts – the screw post, abutment, and crown. When all these are combined, you’ll have an artificial tooth that has the same strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal as the tooth you lost (in most cases, even better!)
What makes implants different from other tooth replacement solutions is they are permanent as long as you care for them. Dentures and bridges have a lifespan of up to 10 to 15 years, but dental implants last forever.
Who would make a good candidate for dental implants?
Sad to say, not everyone would make suitable candidates for dental implant surgery. People who are chronic smokers, individuals who have low jawbone density, and those who couldn’t commit to diligently practicing oral care are discouraged from going through surgery. Before the surgery, your oral surgeon will ask you questions as part of the screening process. People who pass are scheduled for surgery.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants offer so many benefits. For one, they are highly stable and secure. Unlike dentures that loosen and implants, dental implants are as durable as a rock. The only time they loosen is when you experience dental implant failure. The permanence of dental implants is another reason people are willing to go through surgery and pay for dental implant costs. Although they can be more expensive than dentures and bridges, the fact that you don’t have to change them after ten to fifteen years is enough to convince you that you’ll get your money’s worth.
In terms of functionality, dental implants allow you to chew all kinds of foods! There are no restrictions because they are impressively strong. But, you should refrain from biting on too hard foods since they can cause your porcelain crowns to chip and break. It’s safe to say dental implants fully restore your biting force.
Research shows that dental implant surgery has a 95%-98% success rate as far as the success rate is concerned. That’s pretty high if you ask us.
Last but not least, dental implants are stain and cavity-resistant.
Are there disadvantages to dental implants?
Like all other surgeries, there’s always a risk of infection, pain, and inflammation. But, if you find a skilled and experienced oral surgeon, the infection risk will significantly drop. Also, pain and inflammation are part of the process. They should subside within a week.
Implant dentistry is highly in-demand worldwide because of the ability of implants to mimic the look and function of natural teeth. If you recently lost some of your teeth, now is the time to consider dental implants.