Dental implants offer a high-tech solution to the common problem of missing teeth. Whether it’s a single implant for a missing tooth or implant-based dentures that correct several missing teeth, implant dentistry has revolutionized the options available to restore a natural looking smile.
But the benefits extend beyond aesthetics. Missing teeth can create long-term oral health issues. One of these problems is bone loss. After tooth loss, healthy stimulation of the bone goes with it. If you have lost a tooth you can feel this for yourself, just run your finger over your mouth just below the gum line. Unless the tooth extraction has been very recent, your finger will fall into an indentation where the bone has been lost. Another issue is the gap left by missing teeth. This can allow remaining teeth to move making them vulnerable to damage. Fortunately, most healthy people are excellent candidates for dental implants. Here are some important points to consider as you investigate whether dental implants are right for you.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants offer a permanent solution to missing teeth. A small, titanium screw or cylinder is surgically placed in the jawbone, replacing the root of the missing tooth and providing an anchor for the new tooth. The metal implant is then allowed to bond to the jawbone where it provides a permanent foundation for a small connector post, called an abutment, which will hold the new tooth. The final step is the attachment of the replacement tooth to the abutment.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants are much more like natural teeth than traditional bridges and can help patients look and feel better. Implants can provide improved comfort and often make eating easier. Implant recipients have an increased range of food choices because their replacement teeth are stable and function just like their natural teeth. Over time, implants can dramatically reduce or eliminate the bone loss that occurs after tooth loss.
How and Where is the Procedure Performed?
Most dental implant surgeries are performed in the dentist’s office as an outpatient procedure. Local anesthesia is sufficient, but other forms of sedation may also be used. Implant surgeries can take place in one or more stages. In many cases, patients will be required to visit multiple offices during these phases, such as a family dentist, specialty oral surgeon, and so on. To help make the process smoother, dental practices such as Greenhill Family Dental Care conduct the implant procedure in full at their facility.
The process for implants begins with the development of a treatment plan. Because the conditions of the implant area can vary greatly, your dentist must evaluate what will be needed in your case. Your treatment plan will map out all the steps needed and provide a timeline based on your individual needs to ensure the best outcome.
Do Dental Implants Require Special Care?
Implant care begins immediately following the procedure. You will need to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully to prevent infection following surgery. Once the procedure has been completed, taking care of your dental implants is just like taking care of your other teeth. Good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist are the key. With proper care, dental implants are very durable and can last 15 years or longer.
Are Dental Implants Right For Me?
Dental implants can work for almost everyone. Whether the tooth loss is due to gum disease, tooth decay or injury, implants are an excellent solution. However, the best candidates for dental implants have overall good dental health. Heavy smokers and patients with chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes will require close evaluation. Fortunately, even patients with bone and gum damage can have successful implant surgeries, but in those cases, additional procedures may be required before the implant procedure. Your dentist will perform a thorough exam before giving you a thumbs-up for implant surgery.
Regain Your Smile and Your Self-Confidence
If you have been living with a missing tooth, it’s time to consider getting a dental implant. Implants have eclipsed traditional options to replace missing teeth because they provide the feel, function, and aesthetics of your natural teeth. With all the benefits of natural teeth, dental implants are the best alternative to give you back your smile and your self-confidence.
Greenhill Family Dental Care prides itself on our dental implant procedures. There’s no need to travel to multiple offices for an implant; we complete the full procedure in our office. Patients can feel confident knowing that our doctors are providing everything you need for a dental implant. For more information about dental implants, call Greenhill Family Dental Care to book your appointment today.