If you’re considering dental implants, it’s important to make sure you understand what dental implants are and how they can help.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a tooth replacement option that consists of an artificial tooth root and an artificial tooth crown. A single dental implant can replace a single tooth. Multiple dental implants can be used to replace multiple tooth, all the way up to replacing an entire arch of teeth.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants take advantage of the fact that your bone will actually grow around titanium, integrating it into the bone. This securely holds the dental implant in place. As long as your bone is healthy, the dental implant will stay firmly anchored there, similar to the way your natural teeth are held in the bone.
Are there other options for replacing my missing teeth?
Yes. You can also use a removable denture to replace teeth, and in some cases, you can use a dental bridge to replace teeth. A dental bridge is made up of dental crowns that are attached to some of your surviving teeth, and these crowns support a replacement tooth or teeth that rest on your gums. A removable denture is one or more false teeth attached to a structure that helps hold them in the mouth using suction and/or hooks and clasps around your natural teeth.
Why are dental implants the best tooth replacement option?
Dental implants support themselves, just like your natural teeth. That way, they don’t depend on other teeth for support–and won’t damage other teeth.
Dental implants also support your bone and gums.
Dental implants look and function most like your natural teeth because they are structured like your natural teeth.
Dental implants can also last a lifetime, unlike bridges and dentures.
Can dental implants really last a lifetime?
Yes! The first person to ever receive dental implants lived forty years before he passed away with his four dental implants in place. The second person to receive dental implants has had them for about 50 years, and he’s still alive and they’re functioning fine.
Scientific studies confirm that these aren’t isolated cases. Studies that are 20 years long show that 93% or more dental implants last that long. A recently published 30-year study shows a similar survival rate for that length of time.
Dental implants can last a very long time, essentially a lifetime.
What is the dental implant procedure like?
The dental implant procedure is broken up into several phases. First, the surgery is performed to place dental implants in your bone. This can be done at the same time your natural tooth is removed. Usually, you’ll get temporary restorations so that you never have to have a gap in your smile.
Then you take some time to let your dental implants heal. This can take up to six months. At that time, you’ll get your final dental implant restorations, like dental crowns or implant dentures.
Does it hurt to get dental implants?
We will make sure you are comfortable during the dental implant procedure. After the anesthesia wears off, you will experience some discomfort. It’s typically less than a tooth extraction. If you had teeth extracted at the same time, you probably won’t notice any significant discomfort from the implant placement itself.
Can I get dental implants?
Most people are good candidates for dental implants. The only reasons why you can’t get dental implants is if you’re a child whose jaw hasn’t finished growing, or if you’re not healthy enough for surgery.
Sometimes, additional procedures are required to support dental implants. This might include gum disease treatment and bone grafting.
How can I choose an implant dentist?
Carefully. Your implant dentist will make the most difference in your procedure. Look for a dentist who has training specifically in the placement of dental implants. Also make sure your dentist has a lot of experience placing dental implants. An inexperienced dentist may have a five times higher failure rates for dental implants.
Make sure the dentist understands cosmetic dentistry so you are more likely to get attractive results with your dental implant–you’ll have it a long time, so you want it to look good. Neuromuscular dentistry is also a good skill for an implant dentist–it helps make sure that your bite is balanced and not putting excessive force on the dental implant.