Missing or damaged teeth can cause problems while you’re eating, can open you up to the risk of infections, and can ruin your confidence in your smile. Getting these teeth replaced will help with all three of these areas.
You could choose dentures or dental bridges, however, the most effective way of replacing missing teeth is to have dental implants fitted. But, what are dental implants?
Dentists have carried out this popular dental implant process three-million times in the U.S. but what does it actually involve?
In this article, we’ll take a look at when to get dental implants, the various options available, and what you can expect from the procedure.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants replace damaged or missing teeth. The replacement tooth or crown is fixed in place to the jawbone using a small titanium screw.
Dental implants are permanent, they are fixed in place and cannot be taken out. Once in place, they won’t move around.
In comparison to dentures, dental implants give more of a natural appearance. This is because your dental implants will be designed to specifically fit the look and color of your other teeth. They will also fit your mouth perfectly.
Dental impacts reduce the risk of you getting sensitivity or cavities in your neighboring teeth.
The cost of dental implants will vary depending on which type of implant you opt for and how many teeth are being replaced. There are two types of dental implants. These are endosteal and subperiosteal.
What Are Endosteal Dental Implants?
Endosteal implants are the most commonly used. This type of implant has a crown screwed into the jawbone with a titanium screw providing a strong bond.
Because of the way that the implant joins to the jawbone, this is the more effective of the two options.
What Are Subperiosteal Dental Implants?
On occasion, it may not be possible for your dentist to be able to carry out an endosteal implant procedure. Often, this will be due to a lack of suitable healthy jawbone. On these occasions, a subperiosteal implant may be suggested as an option.
This type of dental implant sees the implant affixed above the jaw, rather than into it. Because there is no screw, this is the least effective option.
What Is the Dental Implant Procedure?
If you are having dental implants fitted, the entire procedure could take several months. This first step will be to have any remaining damaged tooth removed.
If your jawbone isn’t thick enough or is too soft, then you may need to have this grafted at this point. It is essential that your jaw is strong enough to withstand the pressure from the implant. While chewing, your jaw comes under greater pressure.
If you need your jawbone grafting, it can take several months for your jaw to become strong enough to take the implant. Once ready, the dentist will cut through the gums and drill into the jawline. Following this, the dentist may fit a temporary denture.
Following this, the dentist will need to wait for your jawbone to grow. This can take several months. Once the jaw is ready, the dentist will fit the abutment. This is the small screw-like piece upon which the crown will attach.
A replacement tooth will be made up using impressions and x-rays of your mouth. Once this is ready, it can be fitted into place.
Who Can Have Dental Implants?
Before deciding whether you can have dental implants, the dentist will need to know about any pre-existing medical issues. They’ll need to know if you have diabetes, an uncontrollable metabolic disease, HIV, AIDS, or osteoporosis.
If you have any type of condition that causes you to grind your teeth, implants will not be suitable for you.
The strength and quantity of your jawbone are also going to have a significant impact on your suitability. If you have insufficient bone, then you may only be eligible for the subperiosteal implants.
The dentist will also need to know whether you are a smoker, and if so. If you’re a heavy smoker, you may not be a suitable candidate for the procedure.
What Are the Risks Associated With Dental Implants?
There are several risks associated with having dental implants. It is essential that you understand these risks as well as how the procedure works. The risks may and complications may include:
- Developing an infection in the gums
- The gum incision re-opening
- The implant shifting position
- Nerve damage causing a loss of feeling
- Exposure of the implant
Following on from your dental implant procedure, your dentist will want to see how they have taken. You may be required to make several repeat visits to check that everything has settled in.
Your experience will vary and the number of teeth that you’re having fitted may impact its success as well as the strength of your jaw and your general wellbeing. Your dentist will be able to talk you through all of the risks to help put your mind at ease.
Which Are the Right Dental Implants for You?
The appearance of your smile can be greatly improved by having dental implants fitted. In addition to this, you’ll be able to eat what you want without fear of discomfort.
Dental implants provide a great quality of life and are the best way of replacing missing or broken teeth. However, before you commit to the procedure it is important you understand what are dental implants and how they are fitted.
It is essential that you talk with your dentist before deciding whether they are right for you.
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