Dental care has progressed significantly over the years, yet millions of people still suffer from tooth loss. People lose teeth for many reasons, including tooth decay, periodontal disease or injuries. A missing or damaged tooth can affect your smile and confidence and your ability to chew and affect your overall dental health. In addition, if missing teeth are not replaced, they can also affect the alignment of the nearby teeth in your mouth.
For many years, the only treatment for those with missing teeth was bridges and removable dentures. However, today, you can choose to have dental implants put in place instead. Dental implants have proved time and again to be effective and safe. This permanent solution can restore your smile and eliminate all the problems that come with missing teeth.
What Are Dental Implants
A dental implant acts as the new root for missing teeth. It is surgically placed into the jawbone by a dental surgeon, and the implant fuses with the bone. A tooth implant fused to the jaw bone is the closest thing to a natural tooth. It stands on its own and does not affect adjacent teeth.
After your dental implant has been successfully installed, your oral surgeon can then mount false teeth, crowns or fix implant-supported bridges to them. Not only do dental implants look and feel like natural healthy teeth, but they can also last you a lifetime if taken care of properly. Technology and science have greatly improved dental implant surgery, and today, dental implants have a success rate close to 98%. In addition, implant failure cases are rare and generally unheard of.
The jawbone and the implants bond in a process called osseointegration. Dental implants are generally made up of titanium alloys, allowing them to fuse with the jawbone and not be rejected by the body as a foreign object.
The dental implant procedure consists of two stages. The first stage of the surgical procedure includes cutting open the healthy gum tissue to expose your jaw bone. The oral surgeon then drills the tooth implant into the jaw bone.
The second stage comes after the initial surgery, when the soft tissue of the gum has healed. Again, the healing time varies, and it all depends on your body. The oral surgeon will then fix the artificial tooth, crown or bridge. Again, the recovery time varies, but after the gum heal, it means that your implant is securely fastened in the jaw bone.
Benefits Of Dental Implants
Dental implants have proven time and again to be an effective tool for tooth replacement which is why it has gained popularity. Dental implants do have a few drawbacks. However, the benefits greatly outweigh the negatives.
Dental implants are versatile
Tooth replacement options like bridges, partial dentures or a complete denture are limited in the number of teeth they can replace. However, implants are very versatile and give you many options.
You can choose to have your dental implant fitted with a crown to replace a single tooth, a traditional bridge or partial denture to replace multiple teeth or complete dentures to replace all of your teeth. Dental implants allow you on your dentist to create the perfect treatment specifically tailored to your likes and dislikes.
They are more comfortable
A dental implant is embedded directly into your jawbone and acts as a natural tooth. This makes it far more comfortable than false teeth and other dental treatments for missing teeth. In addition, your jaw bone grows around the metal post of the implant, which means that it holds the implant firmly in place to add stability. This allows the dental implant to give the prosthetic increased strength and support.
Implants make it easier to speak.
We may not think about it too often, but our teeth play an important role in helping us when we speak. For example, missing teeth at the front of the mouth can cause a big difference in the way you talk. Similarly, traditional dentures can also affect the way you speak by moving around, which can cause you to slur or speak with a lisp. In addition, you may feel embarrassed and get distracted because you will always be constantly worrying if your dentures will slip or not.
Dental implants eliminate both these issues and the same surface characteristics as natural teeth for your tongue to press against when forming certain words. Implant-supported dentures also work in this scenario since they have several deeply rooted implants into your jawbone, which prevents them from slipping or sliding around.
There are no food restrictions.
You’ll never know how hard it is to eat certain foods after missing a few teeth. Molars specifically play a major role in your ability to chew foods easily. Suppose you have a few missing molars. Implants will fill that gap, making it easier for you to eat your favourite foods again. In addition, since dental implants are fused to your jawbone, they do not carry the same order restrictions as other dental treatments for missing teeth.
They look natural
Thanks to modern materials and technology, dental implants have the same surface properties as natural teeth. As a result, they look the same and can give you confidence and make you forget that you have an implant in place. On the other hand, if you have healthy natural teeth, your fake tooth will be made so that it blends in perfectly without anyone being able to tell the difference.
Implants can prevent bone loss
The root of a tooth performs an essential function and sends signals that tell your jaw bone to grow. However, with the loss of a tooth, bone resorption may occur. This can alter your face shape and make you look older. The dental implant’s titanium post acts as a tooth root and encourages your jaw bone to continue growing. Therefore, implant placement not only prevents bone loss but, in some instances, may be able to reverse some bone loss.
They are low maintenance
If you decide to have your dental implant fitted with a crown, it is easy to maintain. All you need to do is have a good oral hygiene routine to ensure that they last as long as possible. Your dental hygiene routine does not have to be anything too extreme. The standard of care should include brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash once a day. You should also include visits to the dentist for regular checkups and cleaning.
Implants capped with bridges and dentures follow the same basic oral hygiene routine with just one extra step. That extra step ensures you clean under the artificial tooth to keep your gums healthy and prevent any gum disease.
Dental implants are durable
Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. However, keep in mind that a dental crown on the implant may have to be replaced every 15 years or so due to wear and tear. On the other hand, dental bridges may need to be replaced every 5 to 15 years depending on how well it is cared for. Meanwhile, dentures will need to be replaced every five to eight years and require regular adjustments to fit properly if you suffer from bone loss in your jaw.
Different Types Of Dental Implants
There are two types of implants.
Endosteal dental implants are the most common type of implants used today. They are put in your jawbone to act as an artificial root to hold a replacement tooth. An endosteal implant is usually made from titanium and is shaped like small screws. Endosteal dental implant surgery sees these screws drilled into the healthy bone and protrudes through the gum to hold the replacement tooth.
You will need subperiosteal implants if your jaw bone isn’t healthy enough to support endosteal implants. This type of implant is placed either on or above the jaw bone under the gum to protrude and hold the replacement tooth.
How much are dental implants?
|Straightforward dental implant – single||$2850-$6500|
|Complicated implant with bone graft, bone augmentation, sinus lift or sinus augmentation||$4000-$11500|
|Cost of “All-on-4” dental implants||$15000-$30000|
Should I get dentures or dental implants?
Going with dental implants or dentures will depend on various factors like your gum and bone health. Your dental care provider will need to perform a thorough examination of your teeth and see if you are a good candidate for implants.
They may recommend an endosteal implant or subperiosteal implant. If your jaw bone isn’t strong enough or there isn’t sufficient bone, your dental professional may recommend a subperiosteal implant or perform bone grafting surgery.
You can feel the biggest difference between an implant-retained denture and removable dentures. Implants-supported dentures will lock firmly in place to eliminate the discomfort that people tend to experience with loose dentures. It also eliminates messy denture adhesive, which is why many people are turning to implant-supported dentures over removable dentures.
Dental implants are an alternative to dentures and bridges. Implants replace and act like the missing tooth’s root to allow you to maintain good oral health. Implants are installed in two stages, and after the second stage, they allow you to carry on as usual as you would with a real tooth. If you have a missing tooth or teeth and want to fix your smile, be sure to book an appointment with a dental surgeon as soon as possible to regain your confidence and fix your smile.