Missing a tooth? Feeling a little self-conscious about your smile? You're not the only one.
Many people hide away their smiles behind clothed lips. If you recently lost a tooth and want to regain your smile, why not consider dental implants?
Between 100,000 and 300,000 dental implants are placed each year. The best dental implants help restore smiles and renew a person's confidence.
Curious about how dental implants can benefit your smile and oral health? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about dental implants in our complete guide!
What are Dental Implants?
First, let's answer the question that's likely on your mind: exactly what are dental implants?
Dental implants are a prosthetic replacement for your missing teeth. The implant is surgically fixed within your jawbone. Over the span of a few months, it's fused with the bone to maintain its place.
This fusion process is called osseointegration.
The procedure allows a dental implant to replace the root of your missing tooth. Then, your dentist will use a bridge to hold the place of your replacement tooth.
Dental implants provide all the benefits of having your natural teeth. The tooth will stand alone without impacting the teeth nearby.
Many dental implants are made of titanium. A titanium dental implant is ideal to ensure the implant integrates with your jawbone. Otherwise, your body might recognize the implant is a foreign object.
Why They’re Necessary
The best dental implants can offer a number of different oral hygiene benefits beyond replacing a tooth. In fact, these implants can also replace several missing teeth or all of your teeth.
In addition to restoring tooth function, a dental implant can improve the aesthetics of your smile as well.
Once your dental implant is in place, you'll have the ability to eat, chew, and talk naturally. Improving your smile will also ensure you no longer feel obligated to hide gaps between your teeth.
Since the implants are supported by bone, they won't affect your surrounding teeth. Your dentist will likely choose the best dental implants for your specific needs based on:
- Your overall health
- The location of the missing teeth
- Quality of your jawbone
- Your budget
- Personal preference
Don't worry; your dental implants won't affect any of the adjacent teeth. By integrating into the bone structure, the implants will remain stable. They'll look and feel like your natural teeth.
While you're at the dentist, you might consider discussing your other tooth replacement options. These can include fixed dental bridges and removable dental appliances.
Complete and partial dentures are both examples of removable dental appliances. Dentures are usually the more affordable option if you need replacement teeth. However, they're usually less convenient.
You might also experience a change in your experience with food, such as taste, if you choose dentures.
Fixed dental bridges, meanwhile, are cemented. The bridgework means you're less dependent on your natural teeth for support.
Types of Implants
There are two types of dental implants most people consider: endosteal and subperiosteal.
Endosteal implants are placed in the bone. Subperiosteal implants, on the other hand, rest on top of your jaw bone.
It's important to note that subperiosteal implants aren't often used today. They don't provide the best long-term results.
Your dentist might suggest mini dental implants. These implants work as temporary anchorage devices. Over time, they'll urge your teeth to move into the desired position.
Mini dental implants are, as the name suggests, small. They're ideal for assisting with anchorage for your teeth movement. You can have these implants removed after they've done their job.
There are also all-in-4 dental implants available.
This option involves four implants that are used to replace the teeth in a connected arch. All-in-4 dental implants are best for stable teeth replacement needs.
Your dental implant procedure is designed to replace missing teeth. However, implants can also benefit other procedures. For example, a dental implant can support a removable denture to create a more comfortable fit.
The Surgery Process
During the procedure, your dentist will first take a look at all of your teeth. They'll examine imaging scans of your teeth and jawbone to assess the procedure site.
Next, they'll use a local anesthetic to numb the area.
During your dental implant procedure, the dentist will need to remove any existing damaged teeth. They might consider placing synthetic bone as a base for the implant, too. Then, they'll use a special drill to place the dental implant into the bone.
To finish the procedure, your dentist will place a healing gap over your implant. Your dentist will also need to stitch your gums up, which will allow the healing process to begin.
Healing usually takes between two to six months.
The cost of this procedure depends on where you live as well as your dentist's services. You should also consider your dental insurance coverage before requesting dental implants. Your dentist can help you determine the exact cost.
Every type of invasive surgery involves a few risks.
Before the surgery, make sure to speak with your dentist about any:
- Existing medical conditions
Possible complications as a result of this procedure include:
- Fracture of the implant
- Damage to the surrounding area
Choosing a qualified surgeon can reduce these risks.
During the procedure, you'll receive a local anesthetic. This should help you avoid experiencing pain during the surgery. After the local anesthetic wears off, you might experience some discomfort.
Placing a cold pack near your skin or over-the-counter medications can help reduce your pain and swelling.
With the risks so minor, the number of dental implants performed in the US is expected to increase by 23% in the next few years.
After your surgery, it's important to follow the steps your dentist lists. That includes routine maintenance such as brushing and flossing twice a day. You'll also need to follow-up with your dentist after the procedure to make sure everything is okay.
Replace and Renew: Your Guide to the Best Dental Implants
Replace those gaps between your teeth and renew your smile. By receiving the best dental implants in the area, you can restore your pearly whites. Smile wide after receiving your beautiful dental implants!
Eager to restore your smile? Request an appointment today!