Teeth affect more than the way we chew, they impact mouth shape, speech, and self-esteem. Some people even believe they affect your potential for success at work. According to the Dental Health Society, approximately 74% of North American adults believe a beautiful smile will improve chances of career success. With all this to consider, it makes sense that so many seek cosmetic dentistry services and choose to receive dental implants.
Throughout this dental implants guide, we’ll learn more about dental implants, who they benefit and the procedure used to obtain them.
What are Dental Implants
Dental implants are a natural-looking alternative to dentures or bridges. The artificial implant tooth is designed to sit on a titanium metal post, which is inserted into the bone of the jaw. With a direct connection to the jaw, the tooth becomes stable enough to withstand regular chewing.
Technically false, dental implants strongly resemble real teeth and are implanted to help control and maintain the natural feel and appearance of the mouth. If well cared for, a dental implant could last the same length of time as real teeth in the mouth.
Who Should Get Dental Implants?
Any good dental implants guide would suggest dental implants to most healthy patients if there’s enough bone in the jaw to drill into safely. Patients who have deteriorated or receding bones may be unable to receive a dental implant safely. Similarly, gum disease is an indicator that the surgery shouldn’t continue as planned. Although, there is a treatment for gum disease, which if effective, could render the patient a successful candidate for implants.
There are many reasons an individual might choose to receive dental implants, such as:
Crooked Teeth: Crooked teeth can affect the bite and make it difficult to properly brush and floss. Crooked teeth can also be detrimental to self-esteem. Dental implants combined with braces can fix crooked teeth and fill in gaps between them to keep them remaining upright.
Physical Trauma to the Mouth: If you were in an accident which caused physical trauma and a loose or lost adult tooth, your dentist might prescribe an implant. This would cover the missing tooth and regain function of that space in the mouth.
Purely Cosmetic Purposes: Aesthetics should be mentioned in any good dental implants guide. For some patients, an implant isn’t based on a medical need, but a personal one. On a case by case basis, your dentist will review your request for the implant and if all tests check out, apply one.
Gaps in the Teeth: The most obvious reason for someone to get an implant is a missing tooth, which causes a gap. The gap allows for shifting, which in turn results in crooked or loose adult teeth. An implant rectifies this.
Pain or Difficulty Chewing: For some patients, a painful bite results in the removal of a tooth. This is a prime example of a time when a dentist would prescribe an implant to fill the void, once the area as healed enough to handle a post.
Take the time to review your dental implants guide before making a decision. Before dental implants are prescribed, your physician will order an x-ray of the mouth and check bone density, spacing, and other issues that could prevent a metal post from sitting comfortably.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Aside from the change in aesthetic appearance dental implants bring to your mouth, there are other benefits to consider. These include:
Strong Bite: For those who were missing a tooth, or sporting a loose or damaged tooth, an implant strengthens your bite. Due to the secure and long-term solution of bone implantation, your new tooth will hold firm, even when biting into a crisp apple.
Natural Appearance: One of the major highlights for patients opting for an implant is the natural appearance. Dental implants look just like real teeth, and because they screw into the post inserted into the jawbone, they stay looking natural.
Longevity: Some tooth repair or replacement options run the risk of being damaged, going missing, or suffering from general wear and tear. Dental implants don’t require replacement and should last the lifetime of other teeth in your mouth. If you take good care of your implants, they’ll take good care of you.
Maintaining Dental Implants: Maintaining your dental implants is as easy as caring for real teeth. There’s no need to take them out at night or wash them in a separate container from other teeth. Dental implants are treated and act just like the other adult teeth in your mouth, which will be outlined in the dental implants guide you receive form your dentist.
Bone Strengthening: Over time, your jaw bones have begun to recede and deteriorate, just like other bones in your body. Having an implant keeps bones young and effective by stimulating them.
Reduced Shifting: Finally, your dental implant will reduce further shifting and crookedness of your teeth, by standing firm against movement.
These are just a few of the major advantages to dental implants. Your dentist can discuss these and other benefits with you in person as you look through the dental implants guide and make the decision to have implant surgery.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant surgery is a safe one and involves several steps. Upon scheduling a consultation appointment, your dentist will check x-rays and decide if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Once approved, your next appointment will be scheduled for post implantation.
To implant the post, your dentist slices the gums carefully so that the post can get to the jawbone. Next, the titanium posts go in and must set and heal for a few months.
Once healed an abutment is attached to help connect the post to the false tooth. Depending on your dentist’s schedule, he or she might choose to implant on the same day as the abutment addition.
Using photos and a personal view of your mouth, your dentist will decide the size and shape of the replacement. These are then created using CEREC, or Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic crowns. An impression provides a 3D glimpse into your mouth, while a tiny camera may also be applied to measure and observe spaces in your mouth for replacement teeth.
For a single tooth, the artificial tooth is then screwed onto the abutment on the post. For multiple teeth, a bridge is created to span the distance between missing teeth.