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Posted on: October 2, 2020
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
How Will Dental Implants Improve My Smile?
If you’re among the millions of adults who are missing at least one permanent tooth, or one of the many millions more who are missing all of their teeth, implants might be the right solution for you. Not only will they restore your beautiful smile, but they’ll probably also improve your health. Your teeth are as important to your overall health as they are to the aesthetics of your smile, so missing teeth should be replaced promptly.
The three physical requirements for undergoing dental implant surgery are:
- Good physical health
- Healthy gums
- Sufficient bone in your jaw—your oral surgeon will determine if you have enough
There are two types of implants:
- Endosteal implants, which are inserted in the jawbone
- Subperiosteal implants, which are installed underneath the gum tissue
A dental implant is comprised of three distinct parts:
- The body, called the post, is made of titanium, so it’s lightweight, yet very strong. It can accommodate one tooth or several. Titanium is well received by the body, so it should be easily assimilated into the bone through a process known as osseointegration. The post becomes the base for your artificial crown.
- The abutment: This is a connector that anchors your tooth to the post and is installed after the post has fused to your jawbone.
- The crown: This is the visible part of the dental implant and is sometimes referred to as a prosthesis. It’s the final step in the implant process.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial teeth that are permanently installed into the gum, so they won’t slip or fall out like dentures or bridges can. They’re modeled after your natural teeth, so they look, feel, and function just like them. Implants have three components that function similarly to the parts of your natural teeth: the root, the gum, and the crown. This makes them very popular among those who don’t want dentures or bridges. Plus, implants enable clear speech and allow you to eat your favorite foods.
How Do Dental Implants Work Like Natural Teeth?
Your implants will have the same size, shape, and color of your natural teeth, so no one will know that they’re artificial. Since they’re permanently installed, you won’t have to worry about them falling out or slipping.
What Happens When I Have Implant Surgery?
Your procedure will be unique to you and based on your specific needs. Generally, however, most patients can expect the following steps:
- Extracting the damaged teeth and performing any other necessary procedures.
- Preparation of the site for your surgical procedure.
- If you need a substantial bone graft, then we may perform it at this time
- Installing the body, which is the titanium post. Performing a minor bone graft if needed.
- Time for healing and growth of the bone.
- Installing the abutment and making impressions of your teeth and gums.
- Placement of your crowns.
The time needed for your implant process will depend on how quickly your body heals, and the number and complexity of the procedures.
Will I Need a Bone Graft?
Your surgeon will determine whether or not you need a bone graft and if you do, the amount of bone you’ll need. Depending on your surgeon’s recommendation, we can take bone from other parts of your body or use a bone-substitute material.
What’s the Procedure for Installing the Implant?
Your surgeon will make a small incision in your gum in order to expose the bone, drill a hole in the bone, and then implant the titanium post in the hole. The incision will be closed and then we’ll wait for the osseointegration process to be finished.
What’s the Procedure for Installing the Abutment?
Once your body has assimilated the post, your surgeon will make another incision in your gum, very close to the post. The abutment will be placed atop that and we’ll wait for your incision to heal. After it’s healed, we’ll make impressions of your teeth and gums that will be used to make your crowns.
What’s the Procedure for Installing the Crown?
When your crowns are finished, you’ll return to have them placed. Removable crowns come in pink plastic gums that can be snapped onto the abutment, but are easily removed for cleaning. Fixed crowns are permanently attached to the post, so if those are what you’ve chosen, we’ll make sure that they fit comfortably and then affix them.
What Are My Post-Surgery Instructions?
Most patients experience some minor bleeding, bruising, swelling, and pain after a dental procedure. This is normal, so don’t be alarmed. We’ll provide you with tips for reducing your discomfort and prescribe pain medication if it’s necessary. Your symptoms shouldn’t last more than a few days, but please be sure to call us if they persist.
What Are the Negative Aspects of Implants?
Despite all their benefits and attractive features, there are some drawbacks to implants. Their initial cost is one of the major complaints because one tooth can cost thousands of dollars, depending on the scope and degree of work needed. Another issue is the length of time it takes. The entire implant procedure can span several months, so for those who are looking for a quick tooth-replacement solution, implants may not be right for them. Implants are surgical procedures, and some people aren’t good candidates for surgery since there could be an adverse reaction to the anesthetic, damage to the surrounding teeth, nerve injury, or a jawbone fracture.
Those who have completed the implant procedure, however, are generally happy that they proceeded and are satisfied with the results. They don’t have to worry about their teeth slipping or causing them to slur their speech like dentures can do, and the appearance of implants is more similar to their natural teeth. Most people feel—because of the additional costs for adhesives, creams, and soaking solutions, plus having to replace broken, lost, or worn-out dentures—that implants end up being more cost effective in the long term.
Can Any Dentist Install Implants?
The implant installation procedure requires extensive training, experience, and education that’s usually beyond the scope of most general dentists. If you’re searching for an oral surgeon to install implants, make sure they’re board certified and will share their credentials with you.
If you want to schedule a consultation for dental implants, please call our office today and we’ll set up an appointment. You can also use our online booking tool to schedule a visit. We look forward to meeting with you soon.