Did you know that missing teeth can cause complications such as loss of bone, gum disease, speech difficulties, and shifting teeth? A dental implant is a procedure carried out surgically that can replace a missing tooth. Your dentist offices should provide more information and recommendations.
A dental implant diagram shows three main components – a root, an abutment, and a crown. The crown is shaped to look like a tooth and is connected to the root by an abutment. The dental implant anchors fuse gradually with your jawbone and therefore are held permanently in place.
To check if you’re a candidate for implants, the prosthodontist will assess your teeth and jaws. Any oral health issues must be sorted out before this procedure. There should also be sufficient bone mass to hold the implants. Like with any surgery, certain tests are carried out beforehand. A blood test for dental implants is also taken.
Are dental implants as good as real teeth? They’re even better, as they’re permanent. They’re customized in color and shape to look like your real teeth.
Dental implants are an effective solution for replacing any missing teeth. Consult a prosthodontist and see if implants are a viable option for you.
Most people wonder, is a tooth implant necessary? Looking for dental treatment is vital to your needs in many ways. Tooth implant as a treatment option has become vital as you address different dental health issues, including cavities. It is, however, important to gather information about dental implants before deciding on the treatment. With the different aspects of dental implant surgeries, what you know becomes vital.
Look for an orthodontist or dental specialist in your area for guidance. Note that the procedures to fix teeth depend on several factors, including dental health problems. By consulting with a specialist, you prepare for the procedures effortlessly. You plan financially and create a sustainable budget for the treatment. Note that dental implant shifting as a procedure can get costly without a proper financial plan. Ensure you check the treatment needs against your budget.
Look for the right facility to access the right dental implant treatment and meet your expectations. Learn the services offered in the facility, including tooth replacement, to understand their relevance. Note that a reputable facility makes it easy to access long-term dental surgery tooth replacement and aftercare services. Look for referrals to find the best dental care clinic in your area. It is easy to regain confidence and smile by seeking proper dental implant services.
If you’re missing teeth, you’re at risk of bone loss and drifting of neighboring teeth. When you lose a tooth, the jaw bone that originally supported that tooth will begin to shrink. Known as resorption, this is bone loss is the natural result of losing stimulation to the bone. Resorption will cause the bone to lose height and width and can begin almost immediately after a tooth is removed or falls out.
If you’re missing teeth that are adjacent to each other, not only will you be at greater risk of resorption, but your other teeth may begin to drift over time. The teeth alongside the gap may begin to lean over. Likewise, the teeth above the gap may shift down, into the vacant space. This drifting and shifting can alter the height and contours of your gum tissue, exposing adjacent teeth to periodental disease or dental decay.
According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, nearly 70% of the adult population between ages 35 and 44 have lost at least one of their permanent teeth to an accident, gum disease, an unsuccessful root canal, or tooth decay. Whether you’re missing a single tooth or missing several teeth, having a dental implant to replace the missing teeth can help prevent matters from getting worse.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are not a recent invention – – in fact, they can be traced back to 600 AD. Of course, the procedure is significantly different than it was back then, but it’s also far more common. As many as 3 million people in the United States have implants. Each year, that number is estimated to grow by 500,000.
An implant is composed of two main parts: the endosseous implant, which replaces the root of your missing teeth, and the implant crown, which replaces the part of the tooth you can see.
What is the dental implant procedure like?
During implant procedure, you’ll be given local anesthesia to numb the area of the missing teeth. There are two steps to the procedure: first, the implant must be inserted in the bone. Once the implant has fused to the bone, you’ll need to return for a second visit to attach the crown, or visible part of the implant.
In general, it takes two to four months for a single implant to fuse to the bone. The exact time it will take for your implant to fuse will depend on the density of your jaw bone at the site of your missing teeth. The denser the bone at the implant site, the quicker the implant will be able to fuse. This is another reason it’s best not to wait for an extended period of time before getting an implant for missing teeth.
Once the implant has fused with your jaw bone, your dentist will fit a crown designed to look and function exactly like your missing teeth.
Overall, the procedure is minimally invasive and relatively comfortable. The most you’re likely to feel is some vibration in the implant site. There will be no open wounds following dental implant procedure so you should experience little discomfort after leaving your dentist office.
How successful are dental implants?
According to scientific literature, dental implants have a success rate of 98%. The success rate of dental implants is the highest of any tooth-replacement options. Even if you have relatively low bone density, success remains high.
How long do dental implants last?
The short answer: a lifetime.
What if I don’t get an implant?
If you choose not to have a dental implant to replace your missing teeth, you have a few other options:
- Do nothing. You could, of course, leave your teeth as they are, missing teeth and all. We’ve already discussed some of the medical risks associated with this, such as bone loss and shifting. It’s important to be aware that having gaps between teeth also make food more prone to accumulate and thus keeping your teeth clean a greater challenge.
- Fixed bridge. This is probably the most popular alternative to implants when restoring a single missing tooth. The teeth adjacent to the gap are ground down and a bridge is attached.
- Dentures. Dentures don’t require grinding of healthy teeth, but they’re also less stable and more uncomfortable than implants.