A large number of Americans suffer from tooth loss despite the major improvements in dental care. This tooth loss is as a result of injury, tooth decay or gum disease. Dentures and bridges were, for many years, the only treatment options for those who had missing teeth.
The replacement of tooth roots is what dental implants refer to, a strong foundation is what the implants provide both for the temporary (removable) placement teeth and the permanent (fixed) teeth that are designed in such a way that they are similar to your natural teeth.
The benefits of dental implants are:
1. There is absolutely no discomfort. The implants become a part of you thus the discomfort caused by the removable dentures is old news.
2. Since the dental implants feel and look just like your normal teeth, your appearance is improved on. They also do become permanent since they are designed in such a way that they fuse with the bone.
3. Your eating becomes easier since the implants function in the same way as your natural teeth as compared to the sliding dentures that make chewing a difficult process. The implants allow you to eat without any pain caused and with as much confidence as never before.
4. Your speech is improved since you can speak without having to worry about your teeth slipping out that are the norm with the dentures that poorly fit. You can talk without slurring or mumbling out your words.
5. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassment that comes with the removal of dentures that require messy adhesives just so that they can stay in place. The implants are just that, convenient.
6. Your self-esteem is boosted since you get your smile back, thanks to the implants.
7. The implants can last for a long period of time as long as they are cared for properly.
8. Your oral health is improved on. Because the nearby teeth are not altered in any way to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long term oral health. Dental implants do not require any reduction done on the other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does.
Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth.
With the necessary proper care, dental implants can last for a very long time. The rates of successful implants vary since it depends on where exactly the implants are positioned. Generally though, there is a success rate of 98%.
Who can get dental implants?
Anyone can be considered for a dental implant only if one is healthy enough to go through the oral surgery or the dental extraction routine. One should also have enough bone and a healthy gum to hold the implant, be a regular visitor to the dentist as well as committed to oral hygiene.
The development of a treatment plan that is individualized is the very first step in the implant process. Your specific needs are addressed in this plan that is put together by a professional team that are experienced and trained in restorative dentistry and oral surgery. Coordinated care that is based on the best implant option for you is provided in this plan.
The next step that follows is tooth root implant, a small titanium post is positioned in the missing’s tooth bone socket. The jawbone then grows round the metal post as it heals and at the same time it anchors the implant securely. 6-12 weeks is the time that the healing process takes. An abutment, a small connector post, is attached to the post so as to hold the new tooth securely in place once the implant has bonded to the jawbone.
Impressions of your teeth are made by the dentist when making a new tooth or teeth creating a bite model (all your teeth arrangement and type are captured). A crown, also referred to as a replacement tooth, is thereafter attached to the abutment otherwise referred to as the small connector post.
The color of the new teeth is matched to your own teeth. The replacement teeth function, look and feel just like the teeth that you are used to.
There are some patients who chose to have attachments positioned on the implant that support and retain a denture that is movable instead of the one or more individual crowns.
Local anesthesia can be used during the procedure. A number of people who have dental implants agree that there is very little discomfort associated with implants. Most of them also agree that tooth extraction is more painful as compared to dental implants. The mild soreness that comes after dental implant process can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol.
Taking care of dental implants
The same kind of care that is accorded to the natural teeth is the same kind of care given to the dental implants; regular dental check-ups, brushing and flossing and the like.
Dental implants are a success because:
• One does not have to worry about a tooth slipping out.
• Costs vary and the options for travelling abroad are very much available.
• There is a permanent effect on the patient’s way of life and oral health.
• One has not to worry about the implants since they feel very much similar to the natural teeth.
The dentist’s credentials, education and experience is of more importance than the cheaper charges.