The Ultimate Guide to Dental Implants
Dental implants are a restorative solution for damaged or missing teeth. They are a discreet and worthy dental investment for many people who suffer from tooth loss, injury, or oral diseases such as periodontal/gum disease.
Dental implants are small metal screws that are fixed into the jaw bone so that a false tooth, such as a crown, bridge, or denture, can be fitted onto them. These dental implant treatments can help mend the way people eat and speak, and rebuild their self-esteem. This post will uncover the many benefits of dental implants.
What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?
Although not all of us practice good oral hygiene on a daily basis, having a smile you can be proud of is a desire many of us have in common. A lot of things, from socialising to eating to speaking, depend on the normal functioning of our teeth. Having crooked teeth or losing them through injury or disease can impact all of these things and knock your confidence.
Often, dental implant surgery and oral surgery rely on more than one procedure and will require the best efforts of a team of dentists. The team will assess your case and devise a personalised treatment plan to target your concerns. Thorough preparation may include:
- A dental exam that includes X-rays and images. Models of your teeth may also be made here.
- A review of your medical history aka a suitability checklist. Dental implants aren’t ideal for everyone and it is important your dentist knows all your medical information to perform the right treatment plan. This includes any medical conditions or prescription drugs you are taking.
- A treatment strategy is then tailor-made and presented to you. This information takes into account things like the health of your teeth and the condition of your jaw bone.
Thereafter, the tooth root replacement, usually made out of surgically pure titanium, is inserted into the bone socket of the missing tooth. It takes around 6-12 weeks for the jaw bone to gradually bond to the metal screw and heal.
Within the next 4-8 months, the custom-made replacement tooth – a crown, or denture – is fitted onto the implant. The cosmetic dentists will have to make sure the artificial tooth will be the same size, shape, and colour as your normal tooth, for a natural look and feel. Procedures are usually done under local anaesthetic to manage pain during the procedure. However, if you’re anxious, your dentist can discuss other anaesthesia options with you.
Implants themselves can last long-term, but the artificial tooth may need to be replaced after 20-30 years due to wear and tear. The longevity of dental implants depends on sufficient after-care, good oral hygiene, and avoiding damaging habits like grinding your teeth.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Some notable advantages of dental implants include:
- Improved appearance. Having missing or damaged teeth can really impact how you feel about your smile. But with implants, you can go about your day with confidence, knowing your teeth are strong and stable and look like real teeth!
- Restores function. One of the biggest side effects of missing teeth is that you can’t eat properly due to a weakened bite or loose dentures. With dental implants, you’ll be able to eat, speak and smile without any concern. The natural look and feel will ensure you eat and laugh to your heart’s content.
- Prevent bone loss. Losing a tooth can result in losing bone mass around the missing tooth socket because there is no longer a root there to strengthen the bone. Since dental implants act like natural teeth this stimulates your jaw bone to grow through a process called osseointegration. Implants can also prevent your jaw from resorbing and altering your facial structure.
- Discreet. Implants are matched to your remaining healthy teeth, to ensure that they look and feel natural. The prosthetic tooth sits closely on the gum line so it’s near impossible to tell which are your real teeth and which are false. The tooth also behaves like a real tooth which makes it unnoticeable when eating.
- Long-lasting. With regular dentist check-ups and proper oral hygiene – brushing and flossing daily – the actual implants should last decades, if not a lifetime. This durability is what also makes it a great cost-effective method of restoration.
- Convenient. Prosthetic teeth are just as easy to care for as your normal teeth! Making them ultra-convenient to look after for years to come. Additionally, dentures come in fixed or removable varieties, so whatever your preference, you’re covered!
As you can tell, there are some exciting benefits to dental implants. Not only does it restore your mouth as closely as possible to its previous healthy state, but it preserves the facial structure and can provide a beautiful smile that will rebuild your confidence. If you have any queries, please get in touch and our friendly team can advise you.