Because of their high success rate and reliability, dental implants are one of the most popular teeth replacement methods on the market. In fact, more than 5.5 million implants are completed each year by U.S. dentists alone.
Below are some key benefits of undergoing dental implant surgery:
- Implants function like your natural teeth and are easily maintained through brushing
- Unlike dentures, which can slip out during meals or speaking, implants remain in place and provide you peace of mind in social situations
- Unlike bridges, Implants don’t require support from other teeth and won’t damage adjacent tooth structure.
- Implants don’t succumb easily to wear and tear and can last a lifetime with proper maintenance: bridges last an average of 5-10 years.
- Implants have no dietary restrictions
Besides appearance, dental implants are needed for good dental health. Food, plaque, and bacteria will build up wherever you are missing teeth. This buildup can be really hard to clean, so you may end up developing cavities and other dental problems.
Dental implants have many other benefits too. It is easier to eat with them. Also, many people find that their speech is much better.
How Dental Implants Work
Dental implants are a versatile option for teeth replacement seekers willing to commit to a longer lead process. You may be a candidate for dental implants if you:
- Have 1 or more missing tooth
- Have healthy gums
- Have a fully formed jaw bone
- Are a Non smoker
- Are unable to wear dentures
Dental implants are used to replace your teeth roots. They act as roots (and a base) for permanent teeth that will be placed later. Without implants, your artificial teeth will be weak, and you may end up losing them.
When done correctly and cared for properly, dental implants can last a patient’s whole life. It is still important to brush your teeth, floss, and use mouthwash with implants. It is also important to maintain routine dental checkups to ensure your mouth is still healthy.
How does the procedure work?
After applying a local anesthetic, your oral surgeon will create a small slit in the gum over the target area, exposing the jaw bone. Next, several holes will be drilled into the bone to create a foundation for the implant. After screwing in the implant, the incision is stitched up and a temporary denture is placed on top of the site to assist with chewing and speaking. In some cases, an additional step known as grafting is required for individuals who lack a sturdy jaw. This process involves transplanting a piece of bone into the jaw to house the implant and can take several months to complete.
How long until I receive the permanent implant?
Following the installation process, patients must wait 4 months for the jawbone to fuse with the surface of the implant, in a process known as osseointegration. Once this is complete, the patient will get impressions taken of their teeth and have their crown slotted onto the implant.
How do I care for a dental implant?
There are several steps you can take to ensure the long term success of your dental implant. Consider purchasing an interdental brush that can effectively clean around the metal posts. Maintain a regular checkup schedule with your dentist to ensure your implant is functioning properly. If you grind your teeth, research treatment options to reduce the stress on your implant. Finally, avoid chewing on hard candy or ice to prevent cracks to your crown.